[D8625666], Letter from Compagnie Continentale Edison, Louis Rau to Oscar Othan Siegel, March 3rd, 1886


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[D8625666], Letter from Compagnie Continentale Edison, Louis Rau to Oscar Othan Siegel, March 3rd, 1886

Editor's Notes

[Enclosure to D8625555. Very long letter; this is summarized.] Letter basically updates TAE on status of situation concerning fusion of European Edison companies. States that part of the problem is that TAE and the Light Co. were not better advised last July; if they had been, they would have ratified new treaty with German Edison Co. of Berlin then, and the present difficulties would not have arisen. "There was surely no reason whatever for TAE to delay this ratification so much the more as by the payment of 25,000 Marks, the interest of the bondholders of the European Company would have been secured." TAE eventually ratified it, but by then, the patent suits in Germany had changed the situation there "and now we do not see how to come out of the dilemma which you will be perfectly aware of after having read the following explanations." ##Goes through the difficulties of solving the problem. First, The Compagnie Continentale cannot disappear without a treaty with the German Co. [explains why]. Second, the Co. Continentale cannot change its Statutes in the form proposed (in part because Bailey involves a heavy charge for the trade expenses, among other reasons). ##For this reason, we intended to make the fusion with the Societe Gendustrielle[?] & Commerciale, which Company would have taken up the other two Companies and we are still of the opinion that this would be the only way to settle all difficulties. [Letter then discusses the letter TAE sent and gives point-by-point detailed answers concerning the provisions of the agreement TAE was apparently concerned about. Describes why the text should not be a problem for TAE and quotes similar text previously accept by TAE and the Light Co. Says they also need an agreement with the Lamp factory on the same terms as with TAE and the Light Co., which has not yet happened because Dyer never has in stock the number of volts required by their customers. Continues to discuss specific provisions, including quoting at length minutes of a special meeting of the Directors of the Light Co., and a discussion of why the agreement cannot assure the Light Co. representation on the BoD.] ##To conclude we would say that we here are not in the slightest responsible for the delays that have occurred to settle the 'fusion' matters because when Bailey came back from the U.S., we had good reason to believe that our best patent could possibly fall and this alone in consequence of the unexcusable negligence of TAE's former patent agent here. We could not under such circumstances ask our shareholders to accept to pay such a heavy royalty and it is for this reason that we asked you to modify your terms. ##At that time, Upton came to Europe as TAE's representative and he was very well aware of the difficulties we have to encounter all over Europe. ##In this situation, he signed another provisional agreement same as Bailey did for us at the time in the U.S. and this agreement was also rejected by our American friends, so we are now [----] as to what has passed up to the present date. [Discusses what they would need to come to an agreement now, including a requirement that the payment of 25,000 markes to the Light Co. would not change, and what will happen if a ratification cannot be made at once.] ##We would suggest for these reasons that as a meeting between Rau and Sulzbach, President of the German Edison Co., will probably take place on about the 12th or the 19th inst, that TAE, on receipt of the present, would cable you only in one word if he agrees with the general sense of the plan we just exposed, so that we should know as exactly as possible how far we can go in the negotiations with Sulzbach.




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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