Cargill and Koch Industries - America's Two Largest Private Companies
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Cargill and Koch Industries - America's Two Largest Private Companies

The two largest private companies in the United States are owned and run by some of the richest people in the world.

Cargill is the largest private company in America and Koch Industries is the second largest private company in the United States. Combined these two companies employ well over 200,000 people and have over $200 billion dollars in yearly sales.

The owners of these companies are some of the richest people not only in America but in the world. Combined the two majority owners of Koch Industries are billionaires almost as rich as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Yet most people in the United States have never heard of them.

Both of these two largest private companies in America produce products most people in the United States use everyday.

Image Source by mmmou812ic (Model wearing Spandex manufactured by Koch Industries)

Here's a rundown of the two largest private companies in America.

Koch Industries

Koch Industries is a large conglomerate company with many divisions and companies. Sales for the company total over $100 billion dollars per year and the company enployees over 80,000 people. The main headquarters of Koch Industries is in Wichita, Kansas.

Image Source (Wichita, Kansas - home of Koch Industries)

Brothers Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch each own 42% of Koch Industries which was co-founded by their father Fred C. Koch in 1940. Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries and David is executive vice president of the company. Both are estimated to be worth $21.5 billion dollars by Forbes which makes them the 5th richest persons in the United States and 24th richest persons in the world today.

Both brothers are staunch believers in limited government and they contribute political donations accordingly. The Koch Industry website is filled with the political doings of the brothers and the company itself. David Koch is a huge contributor to charities and the arts and is the richest person who lives in New York City.

List of Companies and Businesses Owned by Koch Industries

The two largest units of the company are:

Georgia Pacific

Georgia Pacific is a pulp and paper company with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Image Source (Georgia Pacific headquarters building in Atlanta)

Name brands for the company include Brawny, Dixie, Quilted Northern and Vanity Fair. Georgia Pacific employ some 50,000 people worldwide.


Invista is a chemical and textile company based in Wichita, Kansas. Name brands for the company include Lycra fiber clothing products, Stainmaster carpeting and Cordura which is used for making products like luggage, backpacks and boots.

Koch Industries also has companies and interests in petroleum and crude oil refining, energy, natural gas, minerals, asphalt, pipelines, fertilizers, ranching, finance and commodities trading.

Cargill Company

Cargill is the largest private company in America today with total sales of $108 billion dollars. Cargill is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and employs over 131,000 people worldwide in 66 different countries.

Image Source by Bobak (Cargill Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Cargill was founded by William W. Cargill in 1865. In 1898 John MacMillan went to work for the company and married William's oldest daughter. Today between 50 to 100 descendants of the Cargill and MacMillan families own 85% of Cargill.

The company is currently run by CEO Greg Page. Employees of Cargill own the other 15% of the company which has a large employee stock plan.

Businesses Cargill is Involved In

The main business of Cargill is agricultural commodities. Cargill buys, processes and sells grains, meats, livestock and livestock feeds. fertilizers and phosphates. It supplies over 20% of the meat sold in the United States and produces and sells many products used in the fast food industry like salt.

Image Source by Lollie-Pop (Cargill feeds cows and then sells the meat)

Cargill also produces and sells pharmaceuticals, electricity, gas, energy and has a financial arm which is involved with commodities trading to hedge the companies exposure to market fluctuations in commodities prices.

Image Source by jitze (Cargill Salt Flats in California)


Cargill and Koch Industries are the two largest private companies in America and are owned and run by some of the richest people in the country and the world. Everyday people use products produced by these two companies yet most people know little or nothing about the companies. Combined Cargill and Koch Inustries employ well over 200,000 people and have sales totaling over $200 billion dollar annually.

For more see Largest Economies in the World

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United States Main Exports and Trade Partners

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Comments (5)

Very interesting, Joe. Voted, tweeted and liked.

very informative

You brought me joy on reading your article. Thanks.

Wow! amazing companies inducing a lot of manpower, you did it again Joe, thanks.

really enjoyed reading this..always informative and well presented Joe :) v+done