The Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) paid its first dividend to shareholders in 1610. While the company was formed in 1602 and benefitted from an incredible monopoly on trade, it was only after incessant demands from shareholders like Isaac Le Maire that the VOC finally agreed to pay a dividend eight years after its IPO. However, this first dividend was paid in spices. Shareholders received “mace at a value of 75% of the nominal capital”. The VOC’s first cash dividend was not paid out until 1612.
Read More: Dividends: A 400-Year-Old Practice