Suez Canal Company

Suez Canal Company

The Universal Suez Ship Canal Company (French: Compagnie universelle du canal maritime de Suez, or simply Compagnie de Suez for short) was the Egyptian corporation which was formed by Ferdinand de Lesseps during 1858, constructed the Suez Canal between 1859 and 1869, and owned and operated it for many years thereafter. Initially, French private investors were the majority of the shareholders, with Egypt also having a significant stake.


General Aspects

When Isma'il Pasha became Wāli of Egypt and Sudan in 1863, he refused to adhere to the concessions to the Canal company made by his predecessor Said. The problem was referred during 1864 to the arbitration of Napoleon III, who awarded £3,800,000 to the company as compensation for the losses they would incur by the changes to the original grant which Ismail demanded. During 1875, financial crisis forced Isma'il to sell his shares to the British Government for only £3,976,582. [1]

The company operated the canal until its nationalization by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956, which led to the Suez Crisis.

The company remains extant, after a series of mergers, as GDF Suez, an industrial conglomerate.

Presidents of the Suez Canal Company (1855-1956)

Before nationalisation:

Administrator of the Suez Canal Company

  • Marie Gabriel Adolphe Peghoux[1]


  1. ^ Revue d'Auvergne, Volume 5, pg152

External links

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