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Who owned Titanic?

Titanic was a British registered ship owned and operated by the White Star Line, officially the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited. White Star Line was a trading name of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company.

Although Titanic's effective homeport was the port of Southampton, her official home port was the port of Liverpool; this was the city in which White Star Line's headquarters were located and where the company was mainly managed from.

The name White Star Line had been acquired in 1867 by Thomas Ismay who then went on to set up the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company and created the White Star Line which existed in 1912. In its early years the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was owned by a number of individual shareholders, including Thomas Ismay, and Gustav Schwabe, the uncle of Gustav Wolff, of Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

By the start of the 20th century Joseph Bruce Ismay, Thomas Ismay's eldest son, was in charge of the White Star Line; very early in the 20th century, John Pierpont Morgan, an American financier, desired to bring various shipping lines together into one combine, with the advantage of working together rather than against each other, and backed the Internatinal Navigation Company (which operated the American Line and Red Star Line), an American company headed by Clement Griscom, to acquire other shipping lines to form a combine. In 1902 the Internatinal Navigation Company become the International Mercantile Marine Company and purchased the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company/White Star Line.

After the purchase, Joseph Bruce Ismay remained the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, and in 1904 was also made the President and Managing Director of the International Mercantile Marine Company. At the time of Titanic's maiden voyage in April 1912, he remained in both positions.

Although International Mercantile Marine was an American company, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company remained a British company, headquartered in Liverpool.

Titanic was owned by Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, which traded using the name White Star Line; the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was legally a subsidiary of International Navigation Company, Limited, which was itself a British subsidiary of International Mercantile Marine Company.

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