The 50 largest family-owned corporations
Industry: Discount retail chain
Revenues: $244.5 billion
Employees: 1.4 million
From single store in Arkansas in 1962, founder Sam Walton (d. 1992) and younger brother James L. (Bud) built Wal-Mart into world’s largest retailer, with about 4,700 stores today (bigger than Sears, Kmart and J.C. Penney combined). Sam’s descendants own about 38%. Sam’s son Robson, 59, is now chairman.
2.Ford Motor Co.
Industry: Auto manufacturer
Revenues: $163.4 billion
Pioneering auto firm now in fourth generation. Henry Ford (1863-1947) introduced mass production and dominated early auto market with Model T. His grandson Henry II (1917-1987) rebuilt company as CEO, 1960-1980, with younger brother William (retired 1995) as finance committee chairman. William’s son William Jr., chairman since 1999, acquired Volvo Cars. Ford family still owns about 40% of voting stock
Lee/Seoul, South Korea
Revenues: $98.7 billion
Thanks to recent turnaround, now the largest chaebol (family conglomerate) in South Korea. Flagship Samsung Electronics division is one of world’s largest makers of computer memory chips; also makes home electronics equipment, mobile phones, microwave ovens, etc. Other divisions deal in life insurance, securities, trading. Lee family controls about 22%.
Koo, Huh/Seoul, South Korea
Revenues: $81 billion
LG Group (formerly Lucky Goldstar) is one of the five chaebol (family-run industrial groups) in South Korea. With operations in more than 120 countries, the group organizes its principal activities into chemicals and energy (LG Chemical, Korea’s largest chemical company), electronics and telecommunications (LG Electronics, one of the largest consumer electronics firms in Korea), financial services (LG Investment & Securities), and trading and service (LG International). Currently being reorganized because of the nation’s financial collapse. Koo and Huh families own about 59%.
Revenues: $72.035 billion
Europe’s largest retailer operates hypermarkets (groceries, merchandise), supermarkets and discount and convenience stores—9,500 all told—in 30 countries. The name means “crossroads.” Some 60 members of Defforey family hold controlling stock.
Revenues: $61.014 billion
Century-old auto company famous for producing Fiat and sports cars Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati; expanded into construction equipment, insurance, aviation, publishing. Founding Agnelli family owns about 30%. Third-generation leader Giovanni (“Gianni”) Agnelli died at age 81 in 2003 and was succeded by his younger brother Umberto.
7.Ifi Istituto Finanziario Industriale S.p.A.
Industry: Diversified holdings
Revenues: $59.239 billion
Agnelli family’s holding company owns 20% of Fiat, 50% of Finanziaria di Partecipazioni (Ifil), which in turn owns another 12% of Fiat. Also sports, retail, publishing, insurance, sugar and other businesses.
8.PSA Peugeot Citroën S.A.
Revenues: $57.054 billion
France’s largest auto seller, also Europe’s No. 2 (behind Volkswagen), now expanding into China, Iran, Brazil. Other products include industrial machinery, scooters, light-armored vehicles. Peugeot family holds 42% of voting stock.
Industry: International commodities trader
Revenues: $50.8 billion
World’s largest privately held company buys and sells grain, poultry, beef, steel, seeds, salt and other commodities on six continents. Founder William Cargill and brothers provided grain elevators to store wheat after Civil War. His Cargill and MacMillan descendants, now in fourth and fifth generations, have run firm ever since (with occasional non-family CEOs) from 63-room French-style country mansion. Created one of first management training programs, 1930s. Whitney MacMillan retired 1995 after 18 years as CEO. Family members own about 85%, key employees the rest.
10.BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG)
Quandt /Munich, Germany
Revenues: $44.315 billion
One of Europe’s top auto exporters. BMW cars account for 60% of company’s sales. Other products: motorcycles, software. Reclusive family of widowed heiress Johanna Quandt of Bad Homburg controls 47% of stock; family periodically rumored to be selling its stake
Chung/Seoul, South Korea
Revenues: $40.111 billion
Parent Hyundai (means “the present time”) Group broken into five groups by Korean government to diminish influence of founding Chung family. Hyundai Motor considers itself independent. Founder Chung Ju-Yung died in 2001.
Industry: Oil, gas, agriculture etc.
Revenues: $40 billion
Founder Fred Koch’s vast empire of oil and gas services, cattle ranches, coal mines, real estate ventures and manufacturing facilities. In 1983 dissident sons Frederick and William, now 68 and 63, filed suit contesting $1.1 billion price that Charles, now 67, and David (William’s twin) paid for their brothers’ share. The dissidents lost after 13 years; Charles and David control company. William filed a lawsuit accusing Koch Industries of stealing oil from federal and American Indian lands and received some $4 million in whistleblower fees. In 2001, William, Charles and David brokered a settlement, which did not include Frederick, and agreed not to sue each other again.
13.Robert Bosch GmbH
Industry: Auto parts
Revenues: $36.659 billion
One of world’s biggest makers of auto components. Also makes industrial machinery, hand tools, appliances. Bosch Foundation owns 92% of company; Bosch family owns remaining 8%.
14.SCH (Banco Santander Central Hispano S.A.)
Revenues: $32.524 billion
CEO Emilio Botin inherited small regional bank from his father, built it into Spain’s largest banking group, with subsidiaries in Chile, Mexico, other European countries. His daughter Ana Patricia Botin, 41, named 2001 as chairwoman of its retail unit, Banesto. Botin family has managed bank since 1857.
Industry: Food retailing
Revenues: $30 billion
ALDI (short for “Albrecht Discounts”) is Europe’s top private-label, deep-discount food retailer, with 6,100 stores worldwide, including 3,100 in Germany and some 670 in the U.S. Co-founders Theo and Karl Albrecht own the company; Theo’s sons Theo Jr. and Berthold run European division.
16. Auchan Group
Mulliez/Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Revenues: $28.888 billion
One of largest worldwide retailers, Auchan Group operates more than 300 Auchan hypermarkets (groceries, clothing, consumer electronics, etc.), also operates Atac supermarkets, Leroy Merlin home improvement chain, about 640 mini-marts; operations in Europe, Southeast Asia, U.S., Latin America. Some 350 members of highly secretive founding Mulliez family own 84% of Auchan; employees own the rest.
Industry: Retailing, etc.
Revenues: $28.692 billion
Company’s multifaceted operations include retail stores and catalogs (Printemps, Fnac, Conforama, Redoute) that offer apparel, leisure products and home furnishings. Also owns 67% stake in Italian luxury goods company Gucci Group and several perfume lines (including Yves Saint Laurent). François Pinault’s family investment firm, Artemis, owns 57%.
Industry: Convenience stores
Revenues: $28.436 billion
Masatoshi Ito, now honorary chairman, introduced convenience stores to Japan in 1974. Company owns 73% of 7-Eleven chain, operates more than 9,700 7-Eleven stores in Japan and 5,800 in North America. Ito and family own 15% of Ito-Yokado.
Haub/Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Revenues: $28.227 billion
CEO Erivan K. Haub and his family inherited 100% control of Germany’s fourth-largest retailer, whose 7,000 supermarkets, drug stores and superstores brought U.S.-style retailing to Germany. Company currently selling or closing hundreds of its poorly performing supermarkets. Also owns 54% of A&P supermarket chain in U.S.
Sainsbury/London, United Kingdom
Industry: Retail groceries
Revenues: $27.433 billion
U.K.’s third-largest food retailer operates struggling Sainsbury’s Supermarkets chain, with more than 500 stores in U.K. (which account for about 83% of sales). Sainsbury also runs about 185 Shaw’s Supermarkets and Star Markets in New England, plus Sainsbury’s Bank. David Sainsbury, 63, and family inherited 38% of stock on death of David’s father, Sir Robert Sainsbury, in 1999. David left management 1998.
Revenues: $26.679 billion
Founder Paul Galvin (1895-1959) produced first practical radio for automobiles and ran company as one-man show until his death. Son Bob, CEO 1959-90, moved company from TV sets into high-tech commercial and industrial electronics. His son Christopher, 51, took charge 1997, retired 2003 amid difference in opinion with board over strategy.
Industry: Media and entertainment
Revenues: $24.606 billion
One of world’s largest media companies: movies, TV (39 stations), radio (185 stations), Internet. Owns BET (Black Entertainment Television), CBS, Paramount Pictures, United Paramount Network (UPN), MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon), Showtime Networks and Comedy Central (50%), also 39 TV stations, publisher Simon & Schuster, and 81% of Blockbuster (the #1 video rental chain). Michael Redstone started with drive-in movie theater 1954. His son, current chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone, 80, controls 68% of firm; daughter Shari, 49, heads National Amusements theater chain that was nucleus of original company.
Industry: Health and personal care
Revenues: $23.453 billion
One of world’s top five pharmaceutical firms (Merck is #1). Pierre Landolt and family, heirs to Sandoz pharmaceutical fortune, own about 4%.
Industry: Food processor
Revenues: $23.367 billion
Founder John W. Tyson sold chickens and feed to Arkansas farmers, got into processing and distribution after discovering he could fetch higher prices up North. Today, company is nation’s leading chicken supplier, with 28% of poultry market; also world’s largest meat processing firm since purchase of IBP Fresh Meats. Son Donald, now 73, dropped out of college in senior year to enter business (1952) and was joined at helm by half-brother Randal (d. 1986) after his father died in train accident (1967). Donald retired as chairman 1995 and remains senior chairman. His son John H., 49, is now chairman and controls 80% of company’s voting power.
Bouygues/St. Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
Revenues: $23.317 billion
One of Europe’s largest construction groups also runs more than 40 subsidiaries and affiliates in 80 countries. Chairman Martin Bouygues (pronounced “bweeg”) and brother Olivier indirectly control about 22% of firm.
Revenues: $21.422 billion
Company operates three segments: pharmaceuticals (Hoffmann-LaRoche), diagnostics and consumer health. Descendents of founding Hoffmann and Oeri families vote slightly more than 50%, although they own less than 10% of capital.
Industry: Publishing, media
Revenues: $19.193 billion
One of world’s largest media conglomerates, with interests in 600 companies in 60 countries. Properties include Random House (publishing), BMG Entertainment (music), Gruner + Jahr (magazines), and European broadcaster RTL Group. Carl Bertelsmann founded small religious book publisher 1835; his descendant Reinhard Mohn, now 82, built global empire after World War II. Mohn family owns 20% of company, but until 2000 Reinhard held the sole “golden” voting share. He transferred voting control to a company controlled jointly by Bertelsmann executives and Mohn family members.
28. Weyerhaeuser Co.
Industry: Timber products
Revenues: $18.521 billion
One of largest U.S. forest products companies even before acquisition of Williamette Industries. Timber baron Frederick Weyerhaeuser and brother formed Weyerhaeuser Co. 1900; giant paper firm still family-run in fourth generation.
Industry: Tobacco, hotels, etc.
Revenues: $17.495 billion
Entrepreneurial brothers Laurence and Preston (Bob) Tisch, now 80 and 77, started in real estate, gained control of Loew’s Theatres 1959; diversified into cigarettes, insurance, oil, hotels, media (CBS). Tisches own more than 30% of stock. Next generation very active: Larry’s son James, 50, took over as Loew’s CEO 1999; his brother Andrew, 53, and Bob’s son Jonathan, 49, are co-presidents.
Revenues: $17.474 billion
Respected journalist Sir Keith Murdoch built Australia’s largest newspaper company, passed it to son Rupert at death, 1952. He built less-respected but huge global media/entertainment empire (world’s fourth largest, behind Time Warner, Viacom and Disney). Holdings today include TV (Fox Broadcasting), movies (20th Century Fox), scores of newspapers (London Times, New York Post, etc.), books (HarperCollins), magazines (Weekly Standard) and sports team (Los Angeles Dodgers). Murdoch family owns about 30% of stock, 40% of voting stock. Rupert, 72, still in charge; son Lachlan, 32, deputy COO, named publisher of New York Post and presumed successor. Son James, 30, is chief executive of BSkyB, Britain’s leading pay-TV company, which is 35% owned by News Corp.
Schickedanz, Riedel, Herl/Essen,Germany
Revenues: $16.575 billion
Schickedanz family merged its mail order company, Quelle, with the retail chain Karstadt, making it one of largest companies in Europe. Best known for about 190 Karstadt and Hertie department stores but also runs about 295 specialty stores. Schickedanz-Holding, owned by Riedel and Herl family branches, once owned all of Quelle and now has a 36% stake in Karstadt Quelle.
Industry: Tires, travel
Revenues: $16.398 billion
World’s #2 tire maker (behind Goodyear) also makes 36,000 other products, including well-known road maps and travel guides. Has 80 factories in 18 countries. Controlled and run by François Michelin, his son, Edouard, and their partner René Zingraff.
33. Publix Super Markets
Revenues: $16.027 billion
Founder George Washington Jenkins (d. 1996) hitchhiked from Georgia to Florida to seek fortune in real estate, got job instead at Piggly Wiggly, worked his way up to manager. After snub from owner, opened competing store next door. Chain now operates more than 740 stores in four states. Son Howard, 50, is chairman; Charlie Jenkins Jr., 59, is CEO. Stock offered to employees since 1930; they now own about 27%.
Industry: Aerospace, defense
Revenues: $15.482 billion
Powerhouse of aerospace and rail transportation makes business aircraft (Challenger, Learjet), rail cars (for Long Island Rail Road, others), much more. Bombardier family owns more than 50%; took recreational-products business private in August 2003.
Industry: Candy, rice, pet food
Revenues: $15 billion
Candy-making Minnesotans Frank and Ethel Mars invented the Milky Way. Their secretive, driven son Forrest, supposed model for Willy Wonka, feuded with his father, started his own candy company in England, then merged with late father’s business 1964. Now #2 U.S. candy maker (behind Hershey). Since 1973, run by Forrest’s three children, CEO John, 71, Forrest Jr., and Jacqueline, 63. Forrest died 1999 at age 95.
Revenues: $14.975 billion
World’s largest beauty products company; brands include L’Oréal, Maybelline, Lancôme, Soft Sheen. Indirectly controlled by founder’s daughter Liliane Bettencourt and her family; Nestlé also owns a large, indirect stake.
Industry: Defense systems, magazines
Revenues: $14.474 billion
Company publishes more than 200 magazines and newspapers in 33 countries, including Elle and Car and Driver. Also owns about 15% of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., world’s #3 aerospace and defense firm. CEO Arnaud Lagardère, 42, and family control the company.
Industry: Apparel stores
Revenues: $14.455 billion
Donald and Doris Fisher, now 75 and 71, opened their first jeans store in 1969, just in time for jeans craze of 1970s. With addition of Banana Republic (1983) and Old Navy (1994), chain now has more than 4,250 stores. Fishers still own about 20%; Donald remains chairman. Sons Robert and William left in 1998 and 1999, but Bob remains on board of directors.
39.LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Industry: Luxury goods
Revenues: $14.304 billion
Through multiple acquisitions, company’s luxury brands include Dom Perignon, Hennessy, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, also watches, jewelry, retail shops. Chairman Bernard Arnault and his family own 48% through family holding company, Europatweb.
40. Groupe Danone
Industry: Food products
Revenues: $14.237 billion
One of world’s largest food producers; #1 in dairy products (Dannon yogurt, cheese, dairy desserts) and biscuits (cookies, crackers, and snacks). Chairman Franck Riboud took over from his father, Antoine, 1996.
41. General Dynamics
Crown/Falls Church, Va.
Industry: Aerospace and defense
Revenues: $13.829 billion
Peppery Chicago dealmaker Henry Crown (1896-1990) built family’s Material Services Corp. into world’s largest building supply firm, sold it to General Dynamics 1960 and became GD’s largest shareholder. After feuding with GD’s board, Crown sold his stock, then bought back controlling interest and installed himself and his quietly competent son Lester as directors. Lester, now 78, and his son James, 49, remain on GD’s board by virtue of their 16.5 million shares.
42. Anheuser-Busch Cos.
Revenues: $13.566 billion
Eberhard Anheuser took over struggling St. Louis brewery 1860. Bavarian immigrant Adolphus Busch married Eberhard’s daughter Lilly 1861, joined brewery 1864 and made it successful. His grandson August Jr. (d. 1989), president from 1946, began Budweiser’s “King of Beers” ad campaign, making it nation’s biggest brewer (currently nearly 50% of U.S. beer market). August III, now 65, unseated his father 1975. Presumed heir August IV, 38, now VP/marketing. Family still controls 6% of stock.
43. Cathay Life Insurance
Revenues: $13.022 billion
Former fruit vendor Tsai Wan-Lin, now 76, built Taiwan’s largest insurance/construction conglomerate, now expanding into China, Singapore, Japan. Whole family is active in the business. Tsai Hong-Tu is current chairman.
44. Magna International
Industry: Auto parts
Revenues: $12.971 billion
Huge and diverse auto parts maker, also real estate and horse- and sports-betting businesses. Founded and controlled by Frank Stronach, now run by his daughter Belinda Stronach.
45. Otto Group
Industry: Catalogs, retailing
Revenues: $12.461 billion
Otto Versand, world’s largest mail-order concern (and first to go online, featuring same-day food delivery via Internet), is 65% owned by chairman and CEO Michael Otto, 62, and his family. Family separately also owns U.S. catalog marketer Spiegel, U.S. home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel.
Revenues: $12.46 billiob
Belt manufacturer Ralph Roberts launched cable TV service in Tupelo, Miss. Today Comcast is nation’s largest cable company, with 21.3 million subscribers following merger with AT&T Broadband. Roberts family owns only 2% of stock but controls 33% of voting stock. Ralph, 82, turned presidency to son Brian 1990, most of family’s stock to Brian 1998. Brian, 43 and CEO, proved worthy: He convinced Bill Gates to invest $1 billion in Comcast (1997).
47. *Sodexho Alliance
Industry: Food services
Revenues: $12.378 billion
World’s second-largest contract food service provider (after Compass Group), serving corporations, colleges, hospitals and public institutions in 70 countries. Chairman and CEO Pierre Bellon and family own about 40% of tcompany.
48. *Winn-Dixie Stores
Revenues: $12.168 billion
Founder William Milton Davis purchased grocery in Lemon City, Fla., for $10,000 1925. His four sons took over nine years later, renamed company 1955 (“To win Dixie was our ambition”) and built it into Sunbelt’s largest grocery chain: 1,070 Winn-Dixie, Thriftway and Marketplace stores in 12 states and the Bahamas. Founder’s descendants own about 41%; three of them sit on Winn-Dixie’s board, headed by chairman A. Dano Davis.
49. Power Corporation of Canada
Industry: Mutual funds, utilities
Revenues: $12.061 billion
Holding company founded in 1920s to develop hydroelectric power; controls one of Canada’s leading mutual fund firms (Investors Group), one of its largest life insurers (Great-West Lifeco); and other financial services firms. Former chairman Paul Desmarais owns about 65% of company; sons Paul and André are co-CEOs.
Revenues: $11.779 billion
Founder Ingvar Kamprad, 77, launched company 1943, opened first store in Sweden 1958; now one of world’s top furniture retailers with 175 Scandinavian-style home furnishings stores in 30 countries. Name is acronym for founder and his boyhood home, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd. Company owned by Kamprad’s Netherlands-based charitable foundation, Stichting Ingka. Three sons in 30s by second wife (Peter, Jonas, Matthias) have worked at company but seem unlikely successors. Kamprad family also owns Ikea’s prime competitor, Habitat, with $800 million sales.
Source : Family business magazine inc.