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Q: Old stock certificate -- "Mexican Eagle Oil" / "El Aguila" -- worth anything? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Old stock certificate -- "Mexican Eagle Oil" / "El Aguila" -- worth anything?
Category: Business and Money > Finance
Asked by: domiprod-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2005 23:00 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2005 23:00 PDT
Question ID: 558258
I found many stock certificates for a company called Mexican Eagle Oil
(aka "El Aguila" in Spanish) in my grandparents' effects. Did some
research myself and discovered that at some point this company seems
to have been bought by or somehow integrated into Shell Oil. So that begs
the obvious question... Are these certificates worth anything?

I can provide scans of the certificates which would likely make
research easier, as well as a list of all the "clues" that accompanied
them, such as a slip naming the Irving Trust Company as "Agent and
Depositary." (Which I understand has since become Bank of New York.)

The certificates say they were issued in Mexico City on June 17, 1949
and are written in English, Spanish and French. Attached to every
share are numbered "coupons" that presumably were to be sent in each
year for some sort of dividend. Each certificate came with 50 coupons,
28 of which were redeemed. Judging by the year of issue, this puts
coupon #28's redemption in 1978, which was the year my
great-grandmother died. These were her certificates. (Please note her
name is not on them in any way -- the stocks say they belong to "The
Bearer Of This Certificate." The only other reason I have to believe
they were hers is because they were in an envelope with her name on

To receive the fee for answering this question, please let me know
DEFINITIVELY if my certificates are worth anything. (i.e. not a yes/no
answer -- I would like to know why, or why not.) And if they are,
please let me know how I would go about redeeming them.

Of course, if it is my good fortune to have something valuable on my
hands, that will certainly translate into a very nice tip!...

Clarification of Question by domiprod-ga on 21 Aug 2005 00:37 PDT
Wow, well I guess that answers that then, THANK YOU, justaskscott!...
I would be happy to give you a tip if that's possible for finding that
out... (This is my first posting on Google Answers so I'm not fully up
to speed on how this all works.)

And just out of curiosity, if anyone is able to figure out what wound
up happening to Mexican Eagle Oil (specifically why these certificates
are now evidentally worthless) I've appended the price for just this

Thank you.

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 28 Aug 2005 15:41 PDT
I would be happy to post an answer.  You are able to tip for an answer. [under "6. How
do I tip my Researcher?"]

You should probably adjust the price to what you wish to pay for my
answer, and post a separate question if you want to pay someone for
the additional answer to why these certificates are now evidently
worthless.  Please let me know (by posting a clarification here)
whether you wish to proceed in that manner.

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 18 Sep 2005 19:22 PDT
This question will be expiring shortly.  If you'd like, you can adjust
the price and post a clarification here that you've done so.  That
way, I can answer this question.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Sep 2005 20:00 PDT

Mexican Eagle Oil was once quite a large oil company that was formally
liquidated on May 24, 1963.

The company had a strange history.  If was founded in 1908, and was
indeed owned in part by Royal Dutch Shell, along with a number of
other international firms.

Mexican Eagle was appropriated (nationalized) by the Mexican
government (along with several US oil companies in the 1930's.
Finally, in 1963, the remnants of Mexican Eagle were formally

Since you now have a bit of the background you were looking for, may I
suggest to my colleague justaskscott-ga, that he formally post his
information as an answer to your question, since he was clearly able
to estalish the value (not much!) of the certificates.


Subject: Re: Old stock certificate -- "Mexican Eagle Oil" / "El Aguila" -- worth anything?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 19 Sep 2005 18:31 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Well, since no one else is stepping forward to post an answer, I'm
happy to do so myself.

An article in the May 25, 1963 issue of the New York Times was headlined:


and reported on the demise -- and very convoluted history of El
Aguila, S.A., also known as the Mexican Eagle Oil Company.

The company was founded in 1908 as a private company, partly owned by
Shell Oil, and nationalized by the Mexican government in 1938.

It was described in the article as "once one of the world's great oil
companies", but by 1963, it was no more.

I'm sorry that your stock certificates did not turn out to be worth an
obscene amount of money.

But hopefully knowing the fate of the company offers at least some
small compensation.

All the best,


search strategy -- searched newspaper databases for [ "mexican eagle oil" ]

Request for Answer Clarification by domiprod-ga on 19 Sep 2005 21:17 PDT
justaskscott -- My apologies, I was out of town and these Google
updates went to an account I didn't access while away. It appears I
lost the opportunity to provide the tip I promised on this thread. I
will create another question called "question for justaskscott" so
that you can post an "answer" and I will give a tip for answering part
A of my question.

pafalafa -- Thank you for supplying information for part B. I'm sure
that article will be informative, and will take a look at it as I am
curious how such a seemingly large and important company went under,
and in particular why, what presumably would have been a plum stock,
became worthless.

Something still puzzling me though is that since you say the company
went kaput in 1963, how was my great-grandmother still evidently
redeeming coupons for 15 years beyond that? I did hope to know more on
the stock certificate end of things.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 20 Sep 2005 04:10 PDT

The cause of the demise of Mexican Eagle was actually not made very
clear in the NY Times article I cited.  The company shareholders
actually voted to dissolve the company, apparently in connection to
reparations that Mexico was to pay to Britain and other countries for
their original appropriation of the company.

However, what the connection is between the company's dissolution, and
the reparations, is never made very clear.

As for the coupons, that remains a mystery.  Are you sure they were
redeemed annually, rather than quarterly or some other period? 
Semi-annual coupons would have put coupon #28 in 1963, the year the
company dissolved.

Another possibility is that the coupons were faithfully sent in even
after 1963, but that nothing was ever received back from the company
that no longer was.

Hope that helps.


Request for Answer Clarification by domiprod-ga on 21 Sep 2005 16:59 PDT
>> The company shareholders actually voted to dissolve the company, 

See, that's what I don't get -- if the shareholders voted to dissolve
the company, it stands to reason that they would have gotten something
for their shares, or what could possibly be the motivation to do so?

So that's what I wish I could find out -- the reason behind why the
shares aren't worth anything, or why they weren't transferred into
shares of whatever company assumed Mexian Eagle Oil's assets.

Regardless, you answered the crux of the question, so I thank you.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 21 Sep 2005 18:03 PDT
Ay caramba!  You're right...and I'm sorry that very fact didn't occur to me.

I dug a little deeper, and found this interesting item from 1969: 

Note that the above is a temporary link, so save it to your local PC
if you want a permanent record.

It's a notice from Mexican Eagle of apparently their last shareholders
meeting.  As I read it (and I'm no expert), shareholders had a limited
time to stake a claim to their income from coupons beyond #28, and a
five year grace period during which they could travel to Mexico to
make any further claims.

After that....pffft!

The Irving Trust Company mentioned in the notice is now the Bank of New York:

You may want to contact them if you really want to dig deeper on this one.

Thanks...this turned out to be way more interesting than I expected.


Request for Answer Clarification by domiprod-ga on 21 Sep 2005 23:11 PDT
Eureka! Great find, paf. Thank you. Now it at least makes a little bit
of sense. Guess my great-grandma missed out on whatever she was
entitled to in lieu of these certificates. Too bad. Anyway, I thank
you for your dilligence.

In other news, do you have any idea how to alert your colleague
justaskscott of my above attempt to send him some money for first
assisting on this matter? It appears he is no longer monitoring this
thread and I'd like to compensate him for being the first to unearth
the worth (or lack thereof) of my certificates, as unfortunate as his
news was!  :-)

Thank you,

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 22 Sep 2005 04:21 PDT
Thanks a lot, Josh...I appreciate the kind words and generous feedback.

I'll see if I can get word to Scott about your other question, though
I'm sure he'll see it on his own, eventually.

Y'all come back and see us again, one of these days.

domiprod-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Researcher found excellent information about my question and was very
responsive and prompt with follow-up questions. A very thorough job,
thank you.

Subject: Re: Old stock certificate -- "Mexican Eagle Oil" / "El Aguila" -- worth anything?
From: justaskscott-ga on 20 Aug 2005 23:25 PDT
Here's a German site offering a certificate of 25 shares for 7 Euros.

"Mexiko Industry"
lamassu Historische Effekten Internet-Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Subject: Re: Old stock certificate -- "Mexican Eagle Oil" / "El Aguila" -- worth anything?
From: meis-ga on 28 Aug 2005 15:26 PDT
I have a stock certificate just like the one you describe.  I wonder
what the story is.

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