With a combined estimated net worth of $30 billion, the members of the S.C. Johnson family are ranked ninth on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest families in the United States. The family's wealth was initially created in 1886 by S.C. Johnson a few years after he acquired a hardware manufacturing company. Since then, the family fortune has passed through a number of heirs and is currently being managed by the fifth generation of Johnson family members through a holding company called Johnson Family Enterprises.
Below are three companies that are owned and controlled by the S.C. Johnson Family.
S. C. Johnson & Son
With operations in more than 70 nations and products sold in virtually every country around the world, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. could be considered the crown jewel of the Johnson Family. The company came into existence in 1886 when a furniture salesman by the name of Samuel Curtis Johnson purchased a small, Wisconsin-based flooring business that he happened to work for. Fast forward to today, S.C. Johnson has grown into an internationally recognized manufacturer of cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals. The company has approximately 13,000 people on payroll and is behind various popular household names such as Baygon, Windex, Pledge and Ziploc.
Despite being founded more than 129 years ago, S.C. Johnson is still headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin. The company is currently in its fifth generation of family ownership and is led by Dr. Herbert Johnson III. As of 2019, Forbes estimated his personal net worth to be $4.3 billion. According to their corporate website, S.C. Johnson reports an annual gross revenue of $10 billion.
Johnson Financial Group
The Johnson Financial Group is another privately held company that is owned by the S.C. Johnson family. The subsidiary was founded in 1970 by Samuel Charles Johnson Jr., who led the S.C. Johnson group of companies during its fourth generation of family leadership. His daughter, Helen Johnson currently serves as the company's chairman.
Over the past three decades, Johnson Financial Group has grown from a staff of three operating in a trailer to the largest family-owned bank in the State of Wisconsin. The company currently employs more than 1,000 people and provides a wide range of financial products and services to both individuals and businesses through its banking and insurance divisions.
Unlike the two above companies, Johnson Outdoors (JOUT) is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson Family Enterprises but rather a publicly-traded company that is listed on the Nasdaq. The company manufactures a wide range of outdoor recreational products including camping gear, fishing equipment, and watercraft. At the time of writing this article, Johnson Outdoors had a market capitalization of just a little more than $230 million and a 1.39% dividend yield.
As a result of being a public company, Johnson Outdoors' financial reports are made readily available to the public. At the end of the third quarter of 2015, the company's shareholder equity was $$197.9 million, and net income during the same period was $1.1 million. In the previous year, Johnson Outdoors recorded a gross and net profit of $17 million and $10.1 million, respectively.
The Bottom Line
The S.C. Johnson family is among the top ten wealthiest families in America, and the vast majority of their $28 billion fortune is invested in a family-controlled holding company called Johnson Family Enterprises. The holding company owns a handful of both private and public companies. These include Johnson Financial Group, Johnson Outdoors and the original company, S.C. Johnson and Son.