chapter  8
Large Manufacturing Corporations in the Netherlands
Pages 13

This history sets Shell and Unilever apart from other industrial corporations that were created much later, around 1970, by mergers: the chemical corporation AKZO, the machinery firm VMF-Stork and the shipbuilding firm RSV. Only Dutch firms were involved in these mergers and the motiv­ ations were mostly defensive; this explains why they coincided with drastic reorganizations. In 1969, ' Koninklijke Zout-Organorf (which itself resulted from a union of chemical corporations) joined forces with the ' Algemene Kunstzijde Unie7 to form the AKZO corporation. A group of expansive chemical firms were thereby joined with a company whose production of synthetic yams and fibers was stag­ nating but who could nevertheless provide its chemical partners with much-needed capital. In fact, the form selected for the AKZO corporation was a conglomerate of divisions. A similar structure can be discerned in the two defensive mergers that brought about VMF-Stork and RSV. Both corporations form part of the capital goods sector, where reorganizations became necessary in the 1960s and took on dramatic proportions in the 1970s.