Egypt’s largest tobacco factory was founded by the Matossian brothers. In 1882, Hovhannes Bey Matossian founded the Matossian Tobacco enterprise in Alexandria.
In 1886, his brother Garabed opened his factory in Cairo. The brothers merged their ventures in 1896 under the name of H & G. Matossian.
They owned four factories. Some 7,000 Armenians worked at the Matossian enterprises and between 1895 and 1896, 90 percent of Egypt’s cigarette production bore the Matossian trademark.
The company lost ground as a result of arbitrary laws and taxes imposed by the British administration intended to weaken local industries. Eventually, the Anglo-American Tobacco Co. bought the assets of the Matossians’ company.
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