Monday, 12 December 2011
CASE 371 - Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc, is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. Koch companies are involved in core industries such as the manufacturing, refining and distribution of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching, finance, commodities trading, as well as other ventures and investments. The firm employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries.
In 2008, Forbes called it the second largest privately held company in the United States (after Cargill) with an annual revenue of about $98 billion, down from the largest in 2006. If Koch Industries were a public company in 2007, it would rank about 16 in the Fortune 500.
Fred C. Koch, for whom Koch Industries, Inc. is named, co-founded the company in 1940 and developed an innovative crude oil refining process. His sons, Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and David H. Koch, executive vice president, are principal owners of the company after they bought out their brothers, Frederick and William, for $1.1 billion in 1983. Charles and David H. Koch each own 42% of Koch Industries, and Charles has stated that the company will publicly offer shares "literally over my dead body"
The company was renamed Koch Industries in honor of Fred Koch, the year after his death. At that time, it was primarily an engineering firm with part interest in a Minnesota refinery, a crude oil-gathering system in Oklahoma, and some cattle ranches. In 1968, Charles approached Union Oil of California about buying their interest in Great Northern Oil Company and its Pine Bend Refinery but the discussions quickly stalled after Union asked for a large premium. In 1969, Union Oil began trying to market their interest in Great Northern by telling potential buyers that Koch's controlling interest could be thwarted by currying favor with another owner, J. Howard Marshall II. When Marshall discovered this he threw his lot in with Koch, they together acquired a majority interest in the company and ultimately bought Union's interest. Ownership of Pine Bend refinery led to several new businesses and capabilities, including chemicals, fibers, polymers, asphalt and other commodities such as petroleum coke and sulfur. These were followed by global commodity trading, gas liquids processing, real estate, pulp and paper, risk management and finance.
In 1970, Charles was joined at the family firm by his brother David H. Koch. Having started as a technical services manager, David became president of Koch Engineering in 1979.