In this article we are going to list the 22 largest family-owned businesses in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest family-owned businesses in the world.
When we think about family owned businesses, we don't really go very large scale, do we? When I think of a business owned by a family, my brain goes to maybe owning a couple of shops or running your own restaurant. Even at its highest, my thoughts can move towards a few families I know who have a small factory and are a minor part of global industries.
However, this article isn't about those companies. So what exactly constitutes a family owned business? Well, a private business is considered to be family owned when the family owns at least 50% of the shares of the company, while for a public company, the family only has to own 32% to maintain control and decisions. This article is about giant companies, where a few hundred million dollars is like pocket change and revenues generally tend to cross a hundred billion dollars. These family-owned companies have revenues and assets that surpass the GDP of most nations in the world, while providing employment to a population which can rival that of an average city. In fact, as you will read on you will find out that at least one company actually created an entire city to house its workforce.
Not only are these some of the biggest companies in the world, these are also some of the most powerful. The size and influence of these companies has given unparalleled power and influence to its owners as well. These owners and their companies of course, are some of the most famous families in the world, and in often cases, their influence has been exerted over decades, in some cases even leading to conspiracy theories regarding their power. When I talk about these companies in detail later on, I will also mention some of the conspiracies surrounding these companies where applicable. Often enough, the net worth of these individuals and families, who are often among the top 20 richest people in the world, can fluctuate with time but still, run into billions regardless. And over a hundred billion on a good day.
According to the Credit Suisse, out of a database of 920 family owned business which included business worth at least a billion dollars by market cap, these families were just from 35 countries and around 64% were actually from Emerging Asia. This is due to the fact that in more developed markets, families tend to sell their shareholdings with time, and only a third of all business ownerships lasted two generations, 12% of family owned businesses went on to a third generation and just 4% saw a fourth generation of the same family taking ownership. Despite these statistics, make no mistake, the largest family owned businesses in the world are still by far in the biggest and most developed countries in the world, with at least seven companies belonging to the United States of America. The reason behind this is due to the fact that America has always held an allure for the free spirit or the entrepreneur, and being the capitalistic giant that it is, encourages businesses to grow.
The biggest family owned businesses in the world have revenues crossing $2.3 trillion. On the other hand, these companies provide employment to over 6 million people directly and numerous millions of others indirectly. There are just 81 cities in the entire world which have a population of greater than 5 million, just to put this number into perspective. To calculate our rankings, we have considered both their revenues and their employment numbers. Other figures were much harder to get because of the fact that a lot of these companies are private and hence, do not disclose their financial information in the manner that public companies are required to do. So let's look at the family owned business bigger than most countries starting with number 22:
22. Hanwha Corporation
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 43.2
Total number of employees in 2019: 5.575
Hanwha is a South Korean conglomerate and has diversified holdings which include explosives, retail and financial businesses.
21. Roche Holding
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 61.9
Total number of employees in 2019: 97,735
Roche is one of the largest biotech companies in the world, and is based in Switzerland, with sales exceeding $60 billion for 2019.
20. Gunvor Group
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 75
Total number of employees in 2019: 1,600
While registered in Cyprus, this commodity trading company is headquartered in Geneva and operates in trading, storing and transporting petroleum and other energy commodities as well.
19. China Evergrande Company
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 69.4
Total number of employees in 2019: 125,526
The Evergrande Group is the second biggest property developer in China in terms of revenue, and is said to be the world's most valuable real estate company.
18. Aldi Group
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 63.4
Total number of employees in 2019: 126,000
Aldi Group comprises of two German family owned discount stores which have over 10,000 locations in at least 20 countries and have a very strong presence among European countries.
17. Amer International Group Company
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 95.4
Total number of employees in 2019: 18,000
Amer is a hi-tech industrial enterprise, and was only founded 25 years ago in 1995. The company has been involved in energy, manufacturing, finance and resources among others.
16. SK Holdings
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 85.1
Total number of employees in 2019: 107,983
The second entry from South Korea is SK Holdings, which has around 95 subsidiaries which are involved in several different industries including energy, petroleum and chemical.
15. ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT)
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 70.5
Total number of employees in 2019: 191,248
Arcelor Mittal is an Indian steel producer, and the world's largest steel producer at that, with an output of over 92.5 million metric tons annually in 2018.
14. Dell (NYSE:DELL)
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 91.9
Total number of employees in 2019: 165,000
Dell is a computer technology company and one of the biggest technology companies in the world, especially famous for its laptops. Its flagship series is the Dell XPS series.
13. Koch Industries
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 115
Total number of employees in 2019: 100,000
The name Koch has been synonymous with power and influence through the decades and has often been accused of being involved in some massive New World Order conspiracy, with little to no proof to back it up. What cannot be denied is the influence of the Koch family through the billions they have, as they have pushed policies in their favor often as well.
12. Reliance Industries
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 84.8
Total number of employees in 2019: 194,056
The largest company in the world, Reliance Industries is owned by the Ambani family, with patriarch Mukesh Ambani one of the richest men in the world and owner of the most expensive house in the world as well, which is worth over $2 billion.
11. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 108.7
Total number of employees in 2019: 190,000
Comcast is one of the largest entertainment companies in the world by several metrics, and is the largest cable TV company and Internet service provider in the US. However, it has often attracted negative press for not being customer friendly and has been dubbed 'The Worst Company in America' multiple times, mainly due to it enjoying unparalleled power as its almost a monopoly.
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 114.6
Total number of employees in 2019: 155,000
It is the biggest agribusiness company in the world, and is also the largest privately held company in the world, being owned by the descendants of the founder, and is responsible for around 25% of all grain exports by the US.
9. Pacific Construction Group Company
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 86.6
T0tal number of employees in 2019: 387,525
A Chinese construction company, Pacific Construction Group Company was founded in 1986 and is generally involved in infrastructure projects.
8. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 116.6
T0tal number of employees in 2019: 133,778
BMW is one of the most famous automakers in the world, known for producing luxury cars including the Rolls-Royce, and produces well over 2 million cars annually and has a significant history in Formula 1, Isle of Man and touring cars.
Copyright: bizoon / 123RF Stock Photo
7. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 149.9
Total number of employees in 2019: 190,000
Ford Motor Company is 117 years old and was a pioneer automaker, bringing in new concepts such as large scale manufacture of cars, specialization and elaborate engineering sequences known as Fordism. What many people don't know is that its subsidiary in Germany actually produced military vehicles and equipment for the Nazis during World War II.
Total revenue in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 113.3
Total number of employees in 2019: 458,000
Schwarz Group is a German company and the biggest European retailer, operating famous grocery shops Kaufland and Lidl. At a global level, it is the fourth biggest retailer in the world.
Aleksandar Mijatovic/Shutterstock.com Please continue to read about the 5 largest family-owned businesses in the world.Disclosure: No positions. 22 largest family-owned businesses in the world is originally published on Insider Monkey.