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History

The Consolidated Tea and Lands Company (Bangladesh) Limited in short Consol

The Company’s origins date back to 1882 with the incorporation in the UK of the North Sylhet Tea Company Limited and the South Sylhet Tea Company Limited. By 1886 the areas under tea amounted to 7,100 acres and 8,040 acres respectively. The Estates were managed from the outset by Finlay Muir & Co., Calcutta with Sir John Muir as Chairman of both Companies. The two companies were merged in 1896 to form the Consolidated Tea and Lands Co., Limited. By this time the companies also held large tracts of land in Assam, the Dooars, Darjeeling, North Travanacore and Ceylon. The new Company was then floated on the Glasgow Stock Exchange, with Finlay interests retaining a significant shareholding while acting as Agents and Secretaries in India and the UK. In 1897 certain of the Consols South Indian assets were sold to The Kanan Devan Hills Produce Co., Limited in exchange for shares in that Company which were held up until Finlays rationalized the public companies in 1976.

By 1949 the Consol Company had 35,381 Acres under cultivation growing Tea Rubber, Coconuts and Tung.
In the 1955 the Company’s assets were transferred into three subsidiaries with those in Sylhet passing to the The Consolidated Tea and lands Co (Pakistan) Limited. Following Independence the Company adopted its present name in 1973.

In 1976 James Finlay the successor company to the original agents in 1882 which itself had floated as a public company un 1924 carried out a reorganization of its tea assets which resulted in the Indian Gardens being sold out with the Group. The Srilankan Gardens had already been nationalized in the early 1970s.

James Finlay retained Consol (Bangladesh) as a wholly owned subsidiary until management changed in 2006.

Baraoora (Sylhet) Tea Company Limited in short Baraoora

The Company was first incorporated in England in 1897. The Hart Family maintained a significant shareholding throughout the first half of the twentieth century although by 1983 James Finlay had also acquired a significant stake in the Company. James Funlay and its associated company P.R. Buchanan acted Agents and Secretaries of the Company both in Bangladesh and the UK for much of the time when it remained a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

In 1983 in a further rationalization of its tea interests James Finlay made a successful offer to acquire the balance of the shares it did not already own. James Finlay then maintained the Company as a wholly owned subsidiary although for management purposes the business was then run in parallel with that of the Consol Company until management changed in 2006.