La España Industrial Sociedad Anónima Fabril y Mercantil was a cotton manufacturing company in Barcelona. It was situated in the Sants-Montjuic district in the south-western part of the town. Founded on 28 January 1847 in Madrid as the first cotton industry in Spain. In 1851 it was forced to reduce its share capital and moved to Sants (the big factory construction in the pictures above) in Barcelona as the first industrial enterprise in Catalonia. In 1861 it was the largest cotton firm in Spain with 1 790 workers, 41 748 spindles and 934 power looms. In 1880 it had 2 500 employees, the biggest number in the history of the company.
In 1931 España Industrial took over Hilaturas Mohair SA of Sabadell and in 1935 a company in Valencia. During the civil war 1937–39 the company was nationalised (thus no dividends). In 1969 the Sants works closed and in 1972 the firm's all remaining production and domicile were moved to Mollet del Vallés. In 1981 the company had to cease operating completely due to the international competition in cotton manufacturing. Both Sabadell and Mollet are situated just north of Barcelona city.
Originally the Muntadas brothers had founded the España Industrial as the first big industrial corporation in Spain. The family owned the meadow Olivera Rodona in Sants. They brought modern cotton machinery and engineers from England and Alsace. In 1853 the mill was fully operational spinning, weaving and printing cotton. The last principal shareholder was Don Josep Antoni de Albert i Muntadas (José Antonio; died 3 Dec. 1991), Baron of Terrades, and his family.
In 1985 the Parc de l'Espanya Industrial (Catalan; Spanish: Parque de la España Industrial) opened on the factory's previous 50 000 m² site (see location map). The two-storey house (the head office?), seen on the share vignette and aerial photo above, straight behind the front gate, is preserved. The main building is destructed and on its site is now an oblong artificial lake. The park's architecture is characterised by peculiar modernistic towers behind the lake. The Polideportivo Municipal de la España Industrial sports facility is now part of the park. The company had founded a famous football club, the FC Barcelona.
THE SHARE CERTIFICATE
Being a big enterprise La España Industrial Sociedad Anónima Fabril y Mercantil had a large number of shares, from the beginning. Already in 1854 there were 16 000 shares, and obviously all certificates (printed by Litografia Grondona) were for one share each. Certificates are also known in lesser numbers from years 1847, 1850, 1851, 1931 and 1973. As they are still rather common, especially 1854, they are not expensive, despite their respectable age, and can be frequently found at different scripophily dealers.
The 1973 certificate imitates the 1854 one. In 1973 there were 146 392 shares at 500 Pesetas (= 2 000 Reales) each. 1854 has a wide variety of different years, denominations, colours and designs of the large revenue adhesive, probably for a share transfer tax. There is always only one of them (upper left corner). The rectangular blue 1893–94 revenue stamp seems to be on every certificate, occasionally on page three. Some certificates (like the one above) has a vertical violet rubber stamp "Satisfecho en metalico por / La España Industrial / el timbre de circulación de 1894 à 95" (revenue paid in cash).
The 1847 certificate has the same edifice in the vignette as in 1854, although the mill was completely finished only in 1853. In 1847 the share capital was 50 million Reales de Vellón (silver arid copper, as opposed to pure silver coinage, Plata) of 25 000 shares at 2 000 R. each. In 1854 the capital had been reduced to 32 millions of 16 000 shares, still at 2 000 R. each. Obviously all certificates were replaced in 1854 because each dividend payment up to 1853's first one is preprinted on the first page. Starting 1875 the payments were in Pesetas. Officially 4 Reales copper/paper had became 1 Peseta (gold) in 1872.
The reason why the 1854 certificates are common seems to be that they were valid and in use for an extremely long period of time. The share illustrated above (click on images for larger pictures) is full of hand stamp impressions for dividends (often paid semiannually) up to 1960. "En una décima de acción" 1942–43 is unexplained. There are also, first time in 1946, Cupon Anexo stamps three times and they obviously refer to rights to new issues of shares. On the inside pages there are transports (Endoses) of ownership, the last from 1961. This certificate is a good opportunity for scripophily collectors to obtain an impressive old item.
© G. Kock research 2010–2011.