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Our Parent Company

Inchcape Shipping Services traces its origins back to 1847 when two Scottish merchants from Campbeltown, William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie met in Calcutta and formed a general merchant partnership. It was named Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company (MMC).

In 1874 James Lyle Mackay, joined MMC's Calcutta office.

By 1914, he was the sole surviving senior partner of the company that has laid the foundations of Inchcape Group. Through great diligence and flair, he became the heir to the Mackinnon businesses after the death of Mackinnon in 1893, and Mackenzie in 1853.



Where did the name Inchcape come from?

James Lyle Mackay was created a Baron in recognition of his work on the Viceroy’s Council in India, and he took the title Baron Inchcape of Strathnaver in commemoration of the Inchcape Rock Lighthouse, 12 miles offshore from his birthplace.

He later became the first Earl of Inchcape.



Investments & Acquisitions

In 1999, in a move to focus on its burgeoning motor trade, the Inchcape Group divested Inchcape Shipping Services, which was purchased by Electra investment Trust Plc, a British investment group.

Electra fostered the strategic goals of Inchcape Shipping Services providing finance for acquisitions and technology advances, which enabled Inchcape to further develop its role as the world’s leading ship agency.



Inchcape Shipping Service in the Middle East

In 2006, Electra later on sold Inchcape Shipping Services to Istithmar PJSC, a major investment house based in the United Arab Emirates, focusing on private equity, and other alternative investments globally.

With Istithmar’s support, Inchcape continues to pursue its strategic aims with the same confidence and commitment that has characterized the Group’s activities throughout its long and proud history.

Today, Inchcape Shipping Services is one of the largest maritime service providers with a committed team of over 3,000 people in 300 offices in 68 countries around the world.