The Rise and Fall of the East Asiatic Company

In his new book Udsyn - ØK, Danmark og verden (Outlook – EAC, Denmark and the World), Martin Iversen recounts the history of the East Asiatic Company Ltd. (EAC) and the impact the company has had on the Danish business community from 1897 to 2015.


Martin Iversen, Associate Professor at CBS, is the first business historian to have gained full access to the archives of the East Asiatic Company Ltd. (EAC) and for the first time, the entire story of the rise and fall of one of the biggest Danish companies in history is told.

In the spring of 1897, H.N. Andersen’s big plan for a new Danish company became reality: the EAC was founded. H.N. Andersen was a Danish expatriate with a large network in Asia and a vision to contribute to the building of infrastructure, trade and production. It began with a shipping line between Copenhagen and Bangkok and over the next 80 years, the activities expanded to include trade, industry and shipping across the entire world.

In 1970, EAC was the company with the largest turnover in the Nordic countries, but only 8 years later the torch was passed on to A.P. Møller-Maersk. As globalization took off, the EAC slowly lost its vigor and in 2014, the company was finally closed down.

- EAC was supposed to be more than a company. From the beginning, it was meant to be great and international in line with H.N. Andersen’s vision to change Denmark’s position in the world. Copenhagen was to be a center for trade, reaching the most distant markets on the planet. And even though EAC no longer exists, the mission succeeded, says Martin Iversen.

In the book, the whole story is told through key entrepreneurs and management individuals such as H.N. Andersen, Prince Axel and Mogens Pagh, and through themes such as the EAC in Africa, Schalburgtagen against the EAC in 1945, and the five-masted naval training vessel “Copenhagen”. Additionally, the book is filled with fantastic imagery from the photo archive of Denmark’s Maritime Museum.

Martin Iversen is Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at CBS. He is also Academic Director of B.Sc. International Shipping and Trade and affiliated with CSB Maritime.

The book is available from the CBS Library

You can also buy it at Academic books


The page was last edited by: CBS Maritime // 12/17/2017