Deli Company

Deli Company (Dutch language: Deli Maatschappij) is a trading and distribution company in the timber, construction product and tobacco industries. It began as large tobacco plantation and production operation established in 1869 by the Dutch in Sumatra.[1][2] It was granted a land concession by the Sultanate of Deli.[3]

The company relied on immigrant coolie labor.[4] Black shank was a problem and was researched on the plantation.[5] Publicly traded on the Amsterdam stock market, it was the first modern company to pay large annual stock dividends.[4] Jacobus Nienhuys founded the company. A few years later he returned to the Netherlands after being indicted for the death of 7 workers[3] and administration of the company was taken over by Jacob Theodoor Cremer who became its largest shareholder.[6] The company's headquarters was constructed in Medan in 1911.

The company diversified into tea, rubber and other industries and acquired other companies over the years. Deli Company's tobacco business was nationalized by Indonesia along with other Dutch enterprises in 1958 under Indonesian president Sukarno.[3] The state owned Plantation Nusantara Group (PTP) took over the tobacco business but the Deli Company continued operations in other areas and businesses. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Corporation.[6] The business was established near the Deli River.[6]


The company was established in Medan, then just a village, but conveniently located at the confluence of the Deli and Babura Rivers.[3] Business grew rapidly.[3] The company gained a commanding position in the area's tobacco trade, running 10 huge estates and eventually controlling exports with a monopoly. It developed railroads including 54 stations and built a field hospital. As the company and Medan grew, the Sultan of Deli (Ma'mun Al Rashid) moved his residence from Labuhan and Medan became the capital of North Sumatra in 1891.[3]

Cigar smoking declined in the 1920s and the industry was hit hard by the Great Depression a decade later.[3]


See also


  1. The Emergence of a National Economy: An Economic History of Indonesia, 1800-2000 by Howard W. Dick pages 95, 103
  2. "History". N.V. Deli Maatschappij. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Battle to preserve North Sumatra's smoking past Peter Janssen April 1, 2015 Nikkei Asian Review
  4. 1 2 Transforming the Public Sphere: The Dutch National Exhibition of Women’s Labor in 1898 Maria Grever, Berteke Waaldijk Duke University Press, Jun 2, 2004 page 136, 152
  5. Black shank of tobacco in the former Dutch East Indies, caused by Phytophthora nicotianae: Original papers by Jacob van Breda de Haan, 1895 and Thung Tjeng Hiang, 1931 & 1938 Jan C. Zadoks Sidestone Press, Dec 15, 2014 page 163, 164
  6. 1 2 3 Deli Universal History Funding Universe
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