The Company came into existence as a Corporate Entity on 10th March, 1949 when it was incorporated under the name 'MACNEILL & BARRY LIMITED' to do business inter alia as General Merchants, Agency Business and Manufacture of all kind of articles.

The Company became a Multidivisional Company with interests among other things in Manufacture of Tea, Jute, Engineering and Reprographic Items. The Company also had Agency and Trading Divisions.

The year 1975 was a land mark year for the Company when the then Williamson Magor & Co. Limited who were primarily engaged in the business of Growing and Manufacturing of  Tea was amalgamated with the Company whereupon the name of the Company was changed to 'Macneill & Magor Limited'.

Williamson Magor & Co. Limited, had a long history in tea business dating back to the year 1868 and is considered to be one of the pioneers of tea business in India. As a result of the amalgamation, the Company became a major tea Company in the country while having various other business in its fold. Later, the Company changed its business strategy and decided to hive off all divisions other than tea to a few newly set up companies within the group.

In lieu of transfer of the said business the Company was allotted substantial number of shares by the Transferee Companies as consideration for the business so transferred. On completion of the process the Company again changed its name to Williamson Magor & Co. Limited in 1992 having principal business of growing and manufacture of tea and investments in group companies. Later the tea business was also hived off in favour of certain group companies as a result of which the Company became a pure Investment and Group Shareholding Company.

The Company accordingly made an application to the Reserve Bank of India for registering itself as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC). The Company was granted the required licence to act as an NBFC by the Reserve Bank of India on 31st March, 2003 and since then the Company is in the said business with substantial investments in the group companies like McLeod Russel India Limited, Eveready Industries India Limited, Kilburn Engineering Limited, McNally Bharat Engineering Company Limited etc.,

The Company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, The National Stock Exchange of India, The Calcutta Stock Exchange and the Gauhati Stock Exchange.

The Company owns a ten storey building at Four Mangoe Lane, Surendra Mohan Ghosh Sarani, Kolkata 700001 where the Registered Office of the Company is situated. The Company being the major Group Shareholding Company, the Group is popularly known as "WILLIAMSON MAGOR GROUP" (WM GROUP).



The history of the Williamson Magor Group dates back to 1866. In that year, Captain J H Williamson, who was already involved in the management of tea estates in Assam, met R B Magor, an assistant with the Great Eastern Hotel in Calcutta. Their subsequent meetings and association led to the signing of the First Partnership Deed of the company in 1869. This was valid for a period of two years.




The agreement was renewed in 1871 and by 1875, its term was increased to five year periods. The company had its first office premises at 7 China Bazar Street. J H Williamson died in 1898. George Williamson, who had already withdrawn his capital from the business in 1879, died in 1903. In 1904, the Partnership Deed was renewed with R B Magor and J H Williamson's brother - in - law, Robert Lyell, enjoying an equal share. Williamson Magor & Co. worked closely with its  London partnership, George Williamson & Co., the firm which a few years earlier had been started by James Williamson's brother, George.


The fortunes of the Williamson Magor Group grew along with the boom in the Indian tea industry. By the turn of the century, the company was handling the affairs of 44 tea estates. The Group also became involved in other businesses, including coal. Although the Indian tea industry continued to prosper during the First World War, there was an immediate post - war slump around 1920. The situation became worse with the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression. The production levels of tea far outstripped consumption. George Williamson, the London end of the partnership and Williamson Magor, the Indian end of the partnership, consolidated their position in the tea industry through the twenties and the thirties.


R B Magor died in 1933. His grandson, Richard Magor introduced B M Khaitan to the Group. Initially, Briju Khaitan supplied tea chests and fertilisers to the company and had become a friend of Pat Williamson, a grandson of J H Williamson. Williamson Magor & Co. was converted into a Limited Company in 1954. In 1961, a crisis loomed over the company when B Bajoria, an investor, acquired nearly 25% stake in the Bishnauth Tea Company, the flagship in the Williamson Magor Tea Estates. The Khaitan family provided the money to buy out Bajoria's stake. B M Khaitan was invited to join the board of the company and later, in the face of stiff resistance, went on to become Managing Director of the Group.


The Guthrie family was the majority shareholder in the McLeod Russel Group. In 1987, they decided to sell their tea plantations in India. B M Khaitan negotiated with them and bought out the estates. This meant the Williamson Group became the largest private tea producer in the world. George Williamson went on to acquire and manage tea estates in East Africa. This effort was pioneered by Richard Magor. In April 2001, George Williamson & Company, Kolkata and Williamson Magor & Company, Kolkata mutually decided to separate and work independently. As a result, George Williamson & Company, London ceased to be the overseas partners and selling agents for Williamson Magor & Company, who forged their own links and have now developed a competent overseas sales network.

 

The offices of the Williamson Magor Group were shifted from 7 China Bazar Street to 4 Mangoe Lane in 1894. Originally known as Hampton Court, the premises was redeveloped through the mid 1960s.

Mangoe Lane tells its own story. It was lined with mango trees on both sides and presumably took its name from these, though why the 'e', which normally appears only in the plural from 'mangoes', should have been tagged on is not known.

 

The foundation stone of the splendid new building was laid on the 24th January, 1966 by Mrs. O. J. Roy.

Rising nine floors from street level, with an attractive penthouse on top of the ninth storey, the building, with its somewhat severe lines, is in keeping with modern trends of architecture.

One of the most important features of the eighth floor is the very well-equipped tea tasting room, which is situated on the north side or front of the building in order to provide optimum working conditions for the "spitting" staff.

The ten storey block - which stands to the present day - was officially opened in 1968. This asset proved to be a valuable investment as a number of floors were let out.

Copyright. Williamson Magor Group, Calcutta. info@wmtea.com

 


Four Mangoe Lane
Our Corporate
Headquarters