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Ivar Kreuger | Lionbliss Research


Ivar Kreuger (Swedish: [ˈǐːvar ˈkry̌ːɡɛr]; 2 March 1880 – 12 March 1932)[1] was a Swedish civil engineer, financier, entrepreneur and industrialist. In 1908, he co-founded the construction company Kreuger & Toll Byggnads AB, which specialized in new building techniques. By aggressive investments and innovative financial instruments, he built a global match and financial empire. Between the two world wars, he negotiated match monopolies with European, Central American and South American governments, and finally controlled between two thirds and three quarters of worldwide match production, becoming known as the "Match King".[2][3]


Acquired Zündwaren monopoly

  • The German Zündwaren monopoly (translated Monopoly for Safety Matches) began in 1930 when Germany's Reichstag passed a bill named Zündwarenmonopolgesetz ("Safety Matches Monopoly Law"), which allowed the Deutsche Zündwaren-Monopolgesellschaft (translated "German Society for the Safety Matches Monopoly") exclusive rights to distribute safety matches within the borders of the German Empire.[citation needed] The only brands the Deutsche Zündwaren-Monopolgesellschaft could distribute were Welthölzer ("World Matches") and Haushaltsware ("Household article"). Local German manufacturers obtained licenses to produce preassigned volumes to sell domestically and were not allowed to export these matches or to establish new firms.

  • The official monopoly had been acquired by Swedish entrepreneur Ivar Kreuger,[1][2] the "Match King", which made him a very rich man and remained in effect after the conclusion of World War II and through to 1983.[3] In 1930 the Weimar Republic struggled to deal with war reparations as determined by the Treaty of Versailles while it also tried to tackle the Great Depression. Ivar Kreuger mediated German-French reparation talks and provided Germany with a loan of 125 million Dollars[4] (at that time 500 million Reichsmark). The bonds ran until 15. January 1983 at which time the monopoly arrangement ended.[citation needed] After that, the price for safety matches in Germany fell by a third.

  • East Germany (1949-1990) did not recognize the effects of the Zündwaren monopoly, no payments were made.


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