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Company Overview
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (Jardine Matheson) is an investment holding company that provides management services to the group companies. The group is engaged in the transportation services, engineering and construction, motor trading, property, restaurants and hotels, retailing, and financial services and insurance broking businesses. They distributes, sells, and services motor vehicles in Hong Kong, Macau, and the United Kingdom, as well as in mainland China. The group also provide insurance brokerage, risk management advisory, and employee benefit services primarily to government agencies in Australia.
Jardine Matheson invests and manages hotels with a portfolio of more than 30 hotels and resorts worldwide. Further, the company’s other interests include manufacturing heavy machinery; mining contracting; oil palm plantations; and distribution of office automation products and information technology services. It provides consumer finance principally for automobiles and motorcycles, as well as investment banking services.
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited was incorporated in 1984 under the laws of Bermuda. It has its primary share listing in London, with secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore. Its registered head office is located in Central, Hong Kong.
Business Summary
The Company is an investment holding company and provides management services to the group companies. The Group is mainly engaged in various diversified industrials such as real estate and providing financial services.
Description and history
– Formed in Canton in 1832 by Scots William Jardine and James Matheson
– Following the East India Company’s loss of its monopoly on trade with China, Jardine Matheson sent the first private shipments of tea to England in 1834
– In 1836 the Company promotes the founding of Hong Kong
The first plot of land in Hong Kong was purchased in 1841 by the Company for #565
– Hong Kong was officially declared a colony in 1843 under the Treaty of Nanking, which had been signed in the previous year
– The Company opened its office in Shanghai in 1844 when it purchased Lot No. 1. Further offices followed in Canton, Amoy, and Foochow
– The Chinese name ‘Ewo’ was adopted, meaning ‘happy harmony’
– A widening range of imports to China was being handled, including coal, metals and machinery
– The Company became the first foreign trading house to establish in Japan acquiring Lot No.1 in the first Yokohama land sale. Offices were later opened in Kobe, Nagasaki and other ports
– Jardines inaugurated a steam powered shipping line from Calcutta to Chinese ports
Jardines’ trading activities began to be enhanced by the expansion of its shipping, banking and insurance interests
– Kowloon was ceded to Britain in 1860
– The Company also began initiating a wide range of infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, such as the first inter-office telegraph in 1869
– In 1871 the Company withdrew from the ‘Country Trade’ with India in the face of changing markets to concentrate on its other interests
– The Company set up the first railroad in China in 1876 from Shanghai to Woosung
– The Company established the first ice-making factory in Hong Kong in 1879, later to be amalgamated with Dairy Farm, which was established nine years later
In China the Group’s growing interests now included wharves, warehouses, cotton mills, mining and engineering
– The Indochina Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1882 as an amalgamation of the Group’s river, coastal and cargo interests
– Jardines pioneered the first sugar mill in Hong Kong, helped establish Hong Kong Tramways in 1884, Hong Kong Wharf and Godown Company in 1886 and Hongkong Land in 1889. It was Hongkong Land that took the initiative to reclaim land in Victoria Harbour and to create what is today the Central Business District
– In 1897 Jardines opened the first spinning and weaving factory in Hong Kong, laying the foundation for a successful industry for the Territory
– The 99-year lease of The New Territories was granted in 1898
– In 1898 Jardines helped establish The Star Ferry Company
– 1898 also saw the formation by Jardines and HSBC of the British and China Corporation (‘BCC’) which was responsible for much of the development of China’s railway system
The early years saw the growth and development of business in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the treaty ports
– In 1906 Jardine Matheson was formed into a limited liability company
– In 1907 BCC constructed the Kowloon to Canton Railway
– The heart of Jardine Matheson’s business was in Shanghai and from 1912 the city was regarded as the Company’s headquarters
– The Company began to expand into new products and services needed for the growing industrialization of China
A cold storage company was set up in 1920 on the Shanghai river front under the Ewo banner
– In 1921 Jardines’ cotton mills in China were amalgamated to form Ewo Cotton Mills, while the Ewo Press and Packing Company served this industry
– 1923 saw the formation of the Jardine Engineering Company (‘JEC’) which played a large part in providing machinery, equipment and services for the growing infrastructure developments in Hong Kong and China
Among JEC’s early achievements were the installation of the first lift in China in 1930 in Tientsin, and the first Schindler lift in Hong Kong in 1931. They also pioneered the ammonia-type airconditioners and led in areas of heating and sanitation
– The conflict in China and the outbreak of World War II in 1939 marked the beginning of a decade of turmoil
– The entry of Japan into the War in 1941 forced the closure of the Company’s offices in Hong Kong and China, although a presence was maintained in Chungking
– Jardines was one of the first companies to resume business in Hong Kong and Shanghai after the war, and had re-established business in Japan by the summer of 1947
– By 1947 the Company’s shipping activities were also revived, and Jardine Airways was formed to provide similar agency representation to the latest mode of passenger travel, one of the first customers being the forerunner of British Airways
– 1954 saw the closure of Jardines offices in China, like all other foreign companies. Nevertheless Jardines maintained its links with the Mainland throughout this period. The need to re-orientate the Group’s business was recognized
– Jardines head office returned to Hong Kong, which was facing tremendous pressure from the flood of refugees from the Mainland – although they were to provide a potent force for the development of the Territory
– Hong Kong began its transformation from an entrepot trading port into an international manufacturing and business centre
– In 1961 Jardine Matheson became a public company with the initial offer oversubscribed by some 56 times
– In 1963 Hongkong Land opened what was then the Mandarin Oriental hotel, which has today become one of the world’s leading hotels, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel
– Dairy Farm recognized the change in lifestyles and moved into the supermarket sector in 1964 with the acquisition of Wellcome in Hong Kong
– A representative office was established in Australia in 1963 and in Jakarta in 1967
Jardines pioneered merchant banking in Hong Kong and the region in 1970 with the establishment of Jardine Fleming in joint venture with Robert Fleming
– The expansion of the Group’s insurance interests with acquisitions in the United Kingdom and the United States laid the groundwork for Jardine Insurance Brokers
– The Excelsior hotel opened in Hong Kong in 1972, at the site of the original Lot No.1, and was followed by the acquisition of The Oriental, Bangkok in 1973, and hotels in Manila and Jakarta in 1976 and 1978 respectively
– In 1975 the Group acquired Gammon Construction, which remains Hong Kong’s leading construction company, now a joint venture with Balfour Beatty
– 1975 also saw the acquisition of the majority stake in Zung Fu, Hong Kong’s Mercedes-Benz distributor and now the core component of Jardine International Motors
– The Group continued its international ventures with the acquisition of Theo H. Davies in Hawaii in 1973 and additional investments in South Africa and Saudi Arabia in the following years, all of which served to broaden the Group’s core businesses
– In 1979 Jardines was one of the first companies to re-establish relations with China with the opening of a representative office in Beijing
In 1980 the first industrial joint venture in China was formed by Jardine Schindler and the first catering joint venture by Dairy Farm associate, Maxims Caterers
– A major insurance broking operation was acquired in San Francisco, and the Group’s motor interests were extended to the United Kingdom and Hawaii
– In 1982 Jardine Matheson celebrated its 150th anniversary. The Company established the Jardine Foundation to offer scholarships to students from the region to attend Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The Jardine Ambassadors Programme was also launched, designed to give young Group executives the opportunity to help the community
– 1981 saw Jardines open Hong Kong’s first branded convenience store under the 7-Eleven franchise
– At the end of 1982 a severe economic downturn in Hong Kong required Jardine Matheson and Hongkong Land to restructure their interests and dispose of non-core assets. It was in 1984 that Jardines withdrew from shipping
– In the mid 1980’s Jardine Matheson redomiciled in Bermuda as a process of maintaining the status quo in the lead up to the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. The aim was to continue the Company’s corporate governance under a British legal system in a tax efficient manner
– Dairy Farm and Mandarin Oriental were listed in Hong Kong, and Jardine Strategic was formed to hold stakes in a number of Group companies
– In 1987 Pizza Hut franchise was taken by Jardines
– In 1987 Dairy Farm acquired an interest in Kwik Save, the United Kingdom discount retailer
– During 1987 Jardines continued to expand its operations in consumer marketing with the IKEA franchise and a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz in Southern China
– In 1988 Jardine Pacific was formed to provide clarity to the structure of the Group’s many trading and services operations in the region. The process of refining the portfolio and building the core operations began
– In 1989 Colliers Jardine was formed
– Asian economies enjoyed phenomenal growth in the early 1990’s as the rest of the world battled with recession
– In 1990 the Group’s motor vehicle interests were brought together and Jardine International Motors was formed
– 1990 also saw the formation of a joint venture with Securicor to form one of the region’s leading security services providers
– During this period Dairy Farm made acquisitions of supermarket operations in Spain, New Zealand and Singapore. However, the Group’s European operations could not match the performance of the Asia Pacific businesses and were subsequently sold
– In 1991 Jardine Insurance Brokers was floated on the London Stock Exchange and subsequently merged with another listed broker to form Jardine Lloyd Thompson, today the United Kingdom’s leading listed broker
– The Group’s 25% interest in Singapore blue-chip Cycle & Carriage was acquired in 1992 providing a significant investment in the prosperous city-state
– In the mid-1990’s Jardines and most of the listed group companies had their primary share listings on the London Stock Exchange. The decision to move the main Asian share trading from Hong Kong to Singapore was designed to retain a consistent corporate governance system. It was not a business repositioning
– Pizza Hut was taken into Southern China in 1994
– US$250 million financial commitment by the Group in 1995 for Air Cargo handling facilities at Hong Kong’s new airport
– Mandarin Oriental opened in London and Hawaii in 1996
– 1997 Hong Kong returned to Chinese Sovereignty
– Jardine International Motors expanded its United Kingdom operations with a series of acquisitions, including the listed dealership group Appleyard in 1997
– Hongkong Land began the redevelopment of a major Hong Kong property in 1998. Developments in Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam were also undertaken. Participation in Hong Kong container port agreed
– In 1998 Dairy Farm acquired a significant stake in Indonesia’s leading supermarket group Hero, and subsequently takes the initiative to expand its business in Malaysia, India and Singapore
– Mandarin Oriental began the development of a new hotel in Miami in 1998 and announced a major project in New York in 1999, pursuing its strategy to double its available rooms and capitalize on its brand
– In 1999 Jardines acquired stake in Robert Fleming in exchange for its interest in Jardine Fleming to enable the business to meet the challenges of the globalization of the industry
– 1999 also saw the separate management structure in Jardine Pacific unwound as the process of rationalization of its portfolio had given rise to fewer, but larger, self-sufficient businesses
– Maxim’s Caterer Ltd (Hong Kong) and Starbucks Coffee International formed a joint venture to open Starbucks retails locations in Hong Kong
– Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic undertook to accept Chase Manhattan’s offer in respect of their shareholdings in Robert Flemings
– Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group reached a binding agreement in 2000 to acquire the Rafael group, which comprises six distinctive luxury hotels in key locations worldwide
– In 2000, JOS leads the IT evolution with a new corporate identity to underpin its new strategic direction. The new vision has a new name, Jardine OneSoluton. Its goal is to become the leading end-to-end IT and e-business enabling soluton provider servicing the business communities in Hong Kong and across Asia
– The opening of Giant Hypermarket, Singapore’s first ethnic hypermarket, was an important step in Dairy Farm’s strategic expansion in 2000 in the region
– In 2000, Jardine International Motors was privatized and delisted from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong
– Hongkong Land partnered with China National Aviation Company and Pantares (the airport alliance created between Fraport AG – Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide and the Schiphol Group), to develop ‘Tradeport Hong Kong’ into the logistics gateway for Asia. The centre is open for operations in the first quarter of 2003, providing 41,000 sq.m of handling capacity at one of the world’s critical distribution crossroads.
– Mandarin Oriental announced in 2001 that it will manage a new luxury hotel in Tokyo in late 2006. The hotel will be named as Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo.
– Jardine Pacific sold its 50% interest in Jardine Securicor, its Asian security services joint venture, and the Hong Kong Security Centre, to joint venture partner Securicor Plc in 2001.
– Dairy Farm disposed of its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, Franklins Limited in 2001.
– Jardine Motors Group sold its interest in its French motor dealership business, Cica, to PGA Group, an European motor trading group in 2001.
– Hongkong Land’s 11 Chater Road redevelopment in Central, Hong Kong was completed in 2002. The new property, Chater House, comprises a 23-level office tower above a retail podium and a basement carpark.
– In 2002, Mandarin Oriental entered into an agreement to develop a 400-room luxury hotel in Washington D.C. known as Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., expected to open in Spring 2004.
– Dairy Farm sold its wholly-owned subsidiary Woolworths New Zealand to Progressive Enterprises Limited in 2002.
– In 2002, EastPoint, the wholly owned property management business of the Jardine Matheson Group was established. EastPoint is formerly the Colliers Jardine property management operation in Hong Kong and Macau.
– Dairy Farm entered into a 50/50 joint venture with CJ Corp. to own and operate the Olive Young health and beauty chain in South Korea in 2002.
– In 2002, the Group launched a major Jardine Ambassadors community initiative, MINDSET, which channels the Group’s activities in supporting mental health.
– Dairy Farm acquired the IKEA home furnishing business in Hong Kong and Taiwan from Jardine Pacific in 2002.
– Dairy Farm acquired the Kayo supermarket chain, the third largest supermarket chain in Northern Taiwan with 21 stories in 2002. The Kayo supermarkets would be re-branded as Wellcome supermarkets.
– Jardine Pacific sold its 50% interest in Jardine Salmat, an Asia-Pacific joint venture, to Salmat Holdings in exchange for a 4% stake in Salmat Holdings.
– Cycle & Carriage (C&C) became a subsidiary of the Jardine Matheson Group. This follows a successful partial offer by Jardine Strategic which increased the Group’s interest in C&C from 30% to over 50%.
– Hongkong Land announced its intention to implement a comprehensive scheme to enhance The Landmark complex. The scheme will upgrade the existing retail environment, add a unique luxury hotel and create a new office tower. The new hotel, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, which will be managed by Mandarin Oriental, is due to open in mid 2005.
– BALtrans acquired Jardine Pacific’s logistics operations trading as Jardine Logistics through an issurance of new shares. Jardine Pacific became a 20%-shareholder in the enlarged BALtrans group.
– In 2004, Cycle & Carriage has changed its name to ‘Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited’ in a move that aligns its identity with the Jardine Matheson Group. This followed Cycle & Carriage becoming a Group subsidiary in late 2002 after a partial share offer that was overwhelmingly endorsed by shareholders. The name change, which had been approved by the company’s shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting, became effective from the 1st January 2004.

Incorporated under the laws of Bermuda

Business Line
Investment holding company that provides mangement services to the group companies
IPO date
Company Address
Jardine House
33-35, Reid Street
City province or state postal code
Phone: +1 441 292 0515
Fax: +1 441 292 4072
Country address: BERMUDA
Website url: www.jardine-matheson.com