Fostering entrepreneurship has been the cornerstone of the U.S. economy and society from the country’s beginning. Many American businesses – those that began nearly 200 years ago as well as those that are barely a decade old – have expanded not only nationally but also globally. Names like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Disney, and Apple are some of the most recognizable brands in the world.
But with global recognition came interest from companies abroad, and some of these iconic American brands are no longer in American hands. (Also see, these companies control over 50% of their industry.)
To find 25 classic American brands that are actually foreign-owned, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from various sources, with emphasis on company filings, sites, and press releases as well as financial media. After assembling an initial universe of some 50 brands, we used editorial discretion in choosing the final list with the aim of including the best-known, most iconic brands, as well as some of those you’d least expect to have foreign owners. (Our list is by no means comprehensive.)
Our list includes six companies that started in the 19th century, 12 companies born in the first half of the 20th century, another six companies that started later in the 1900s, and a relative newcomer from 2004.
The companies operate in diverse Industries, including food and drink, medicine, appliances, technology, oil and gas, pet food, even jewelry. It may be surprising to find that some of the brands on the list are foreign owned, but others, like Budweiser and Lucky Strike, made a big splash when they went to foreign hands. (These are the most valuable beer brands in the world.)
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