KOCH Industries is one of the largest private companies in the USA after Cargill Inc., which is also family-run.
Today, the company is worth $115 billion, while Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles has an individual net worth of $59 billion forbes.
Since its establishment, the company mainly focuses on the following industries: oil refining, petroleum distribution, chemical, energy, polymers and other man-made materials.
BIRTH OF THE COMPANY
It all started when Fred Koch teamed up with his MIT classmate Lewis E. Winkler in 1925 and developed a new fracking technique to convert crude oil into gasoline.
But these young entrepreneurs, known as the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company, faced a barrage of bogus lawsuits from competing companies intent on shutting down their pioneering efforts.
As a result, Fred handed his company over to the Soviet Union and later built oil refineries in Nazi Germany.
During that time, Fred was able to win 43 of the 44 lawsuits filed against him and decided it was time to return to the United States.
It was not until 1940 that Koch Industries Inc. was officially founded and Fred was finally able to significantly expand his business in America.
In the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s Koch’s fortunes grew through new partnerships and new refineries.
Pass the baton
Fred had four sons, but considered the eldest, Fred Jr., an unsuitable heir to take over the family business
Fred Jr. had a liberal arts degree from Harvard and was enlisted in the US Navy.
Therefore, after his father’s death in 1967, Charles became chairman at the age of just 32.
He was joined in 1970 by his brother David, who became President of Koch Engineering in 1979.
In 1983, Charles and David fought a bitter legal and board battle with their brothers Bill and Fred Jr.
Bill and Fred Jr. wanted to receive larger dividend payments from their company shares rather than reinvest the profits back into Koch Industries.
As a result, Charles and David bought out their brothers for $620 and $400 million, respectively, and became controlling shareholders.
Although Charles is now 87 years old, he continues to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
David passed away in 2009 with an estimated fortune of $50.5 billion forbes.
“BUY” THE USA
In recent years, Charles and David have been best known for their outsized political donations.
The two, commonly known as the Koch brothers, built a network of libertarian and conservative donors.
even she Raised $400 million in the 2011–2012 election cycle and endorsed Mit Romney.
In 2014, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the brothers trying to “buy the land”.
But the Koch family isn’t the only billionaire dynasty wielding shocking power.
The Cargill-MacMillan family controls 90 percent of Cargill Inc., the largest private company in the world.
And a woman is continuing the $22 billion oil empire her father built from the ground up.