|Description||The Societe Anonyme d'Entreprises Commerciales au Congo Belge (Sedec) was the trading wing of Levers' plantation enterprise Huileries du Congo Belge (HCB). This Belgian Congo trading company largely employed Belgian staff, was run from Brussels, and was registered in Belgium. In 1951 it was established as SEDEC SARL.|
In 1929 the two previously integrated companies were divided: HCB became a subsidiary of Lever Brothers and Sedec was transferred to UAC. Sedec resembled the West African trading companies in that it bought produce and sold general goods, including motors.
Few archives of Sedec survive in Britain, because the records of the Brussels archive were dispersed when its functions were transferred to Niger France.
In the 1950s Sedec formed a significant part of UAC's profits: in 1954-55 and 1955-56 it provided 12.7 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.
After independence in 1960, as trading profits fell and difficulties arose in the payment of dividends and the repatriation of funds, Sedec became increasingly involved in local manufacture and non-trading enterprises by acquiring, or entering partnerships with, a variety of originally Belgian registered businesses. These included textile-printing [Utexleo], bicycles [Cyclor], vehicle assembly [with General Motors], and pharmaceuticals [Pharmaf]. Following difficult conditions imposed by local participation legislation , the formerly highly profitable Sedec-Motors business was sold to the Congolese government in 1970.
Responsibility for operations in Zaire was transferred to Compagnie du Niger Francais (CNF) - in 1971 control of the Zaire/Rwanda/Burmundi business was transferred to Niger France from Brussels as a rationalisation measure.
As a result of the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zaire, Sedec and its associated companies the Magasin de Detail, Matco, Unitec and Unitair were sold to Utema Travhydro et Tubetra, represented by Entreprises Roger de Cock on 24 August 1988