The Koch brothers, Charles and David, have become well-known for their libertarian and conservative politics, often portrayed as significant personalities that impact elections and government decisions. However, despite the Koch brothers’ fame as political influencers, their primary activities are centered around running Koch Industries Inc., of which they own around 80%.

$110 billion

The combined net worth of the two Koch brothers, Charles and David.

Koch Industries is a private company that has annual revenues topping $110 billion. However, it is not really a single company, but a conglomerate of companies the brothers own. On June 5, 2018, David Koch retired from all roles related to the Koch Industries and Koch-affiliated group due to health reasons.

Koch Industries' Revenue Growth

Because Koch Industries is not a publicly traded company, some of its key financial information is not available to the public. However, per an SEC fact sheet, the conglomerate has seen its value grow by 16 times that of the S&P 500 for some of its history.

The industries under the Koch umbrella are diverse, ranging from companies that deal with energy to spandex. Koch companies manufacture paper, process minerals, create fertilizers, and refine oil, among many other things.

Key Takeaways

  • Koch companies collectively employ over 120,000 people.
  • The company owns subsidiaries that produce various goods such as resins, polymers, glass, oil pipelines, tissue paper, robotics, and more.
  • Koch Industries controls some lesser known companies as well, such as Matador Cattle Company, the Koch Chemical Technology Group, Koch Disruptive Technologies, and Koch Minerals.

1. Flint Hills Resources

Flint Hilss Resoures Logo

Flint Hills is a fuel-producing company. It offers petroleum products, gasoline, diesel fuels, jet fuels, and other oil products, as well as those related to polymers and other chemicals. The company's ethanol plants have a combined production capacity of more than 800 million gallons per year.

The company also explores biofuels. Flint Hills markets a variety of chemical applications, coatings, automotive parts, and asphalt. Flint Hills markets and sells on a worldwide basis, including the United States, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, Central America, and New Zealand.

2. Georgia-Pacific

Georgia Pacific Logo

Koch Industries acquired Georgia Pacific on December 23, 2005, for $21 billion.

Originally known as Georgia Hardwood Lumber Co., Georgia-Pacific is a pulp and paper company that produces paper, tissue, toilet paper, and building products and includes the well-known brands Quilted Northern tissue, Brawny paper towels, and Dixie cups. Aside from these products, wallboard, napkins, boxes, paper dispensers, and pulp round out the company’s offerings.

The company employs more than 40,000 people in over 200 locations. Georgia-Pacific claims to be environmentally responsible. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia, but markets worldwide.

3. Guardian Industries

Guardian Industries Logo

Koch Industries completed its full acquisition of Guardian Industries on February 1, 2017, after earlier buying a 44.5% stake in the company.

Think of Guardian Industries as a glass company. It manufactures glass for automobiles, building applications, fiberglass insulation, and coated glass for architectural needs. The company is known for its research and development of new applications for glass, such as energy-efficient windows.

Based in Michigan, Guardian Industries employees 18,000 people in the United States, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

4. Invista

Invista Logo

Koch Industries acquired Invista for an undisclosed amount in April 2004.

Invista makes spandex, resins, chemicals, and polymers. It is a spin-off of DuPont, now owned by the Koch brothers. The company concentrates on textiles and owns numerous brands such as Lycra, Tactel, and Thermolite, as well as brands for outdoor gear, carpet (Stainmaster), and luggage. When Koch Industries purchased Invista in 2004, the conglomerate merged the polymers subsidiary with its preexisting KoSa subsidiary in order to create a new company under the Invista name.

In total, Invista owns 23 brands and is involved in fabrics, fibers, plastics, polymers, chemicals, and the licensing of technology. The company operates in 20 countries and has about 10,000 employees.

5. Molex

Molex Logo

Koch Industries paid $7.2 billion to acquire Molex in September 2013.

Molex creates electronics to solve technical problems in electric cars, robotic surgery, and even the Mars Rover. The company is also involved in fiber optics, smartphones, and defense applications. With about 80 years of history, Molex has been a critical part of the development of some of the most prominent technologies of today, including the first cell phones, HDTVs, and car radios.

Molex counts nearly 100,000 products in its catalog and has more than 42,000 employees in 39 countries. For the year ending June 30, 2013, Molex had about $3.6 billion in revenue.

6. Koch Ag & Energy Solutions

Koch Ag and Energy Solutions operate three Koch Industries companies. Koch Fertilizer manufactures and markets a wide variety of fertilizer products used in the agriculture industry. It operates a global distribution network with terminals in North America, South America, and Europe. Koch Energy Services markets electricity and natural gas in North American markets.

It uses its expertise in market analysis, purchasing, hedging, and energy logistics to provide comprehensive services to other companies. Koch Methanol is a methanol supplier. It was originally established to fulfill the needs of Koch Industries subsidiaries, but it now works with other companies as well.

7. Koch Pipeline Company

This company owns pipelines throughout Texas, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The pipelines transport oil and refined petroleum, as well as natural gas. Some of the pipelines are associated with Flint Hills Resources.

Koch Pipeline Company operates approximately 4,000 miles of pipeline in six U.S. states, the longest of which include the 580-mile Wood River Pipeline in Missouri and a 540-mile pipeline system in South Texas, both of which transport crude oil.

Lesser Known Companies

Koch Industries also holds a variety of smaller subsidiaries as well as the major brands listed above. The Matador Cattle Company operates three ranches with 12,000 head of cattle, for instance, while the Koch brothers have their name on a variety of other subsidiary brands as well. These include the Koch Chemical Technology Group, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Koch Minerals, and more.