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Ten Classic American Brands That Are Foreign-Owned
Wall Street 24X7 ^ | 11/27/2013

Posted on 11/27/2013 7:21:22 AM PST by SeekAndFind

In September, major U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods was purchased by Chinese holding company Shanghui International Holdings, Ltd for $4.7 billion. The deal represents the largest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese entity. Of course, this is certainly not the first time that a major U.S. brand has been acquired by a foreign operation.

Established American brands are extremely valuable to foreign companies. Building a reputation in this country, which is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, can take decades, if it can be done at all. Many of America’s most well-known names have been around since the 19th century. 24/7 Wall St. examined 10 famous brands founded in the U.S. that are no longer owned by American companies.

Click here to see the Ten Classic American Brands That Are Foreign-Owned

Many of these brands are not just iconic American names because they were founded and developed in the U.S., but also because they marketed themselves over the years as American. Budweiser beer, introduced by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis in 1876, is the most widely-known American beer brand. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev. The company continued to market Budweiser as American, and even introduced an “American Ale” the same year, although that line has been discontinued.

Nearly all of these brands were purchased by an international conglomerate with large and diversified brand portfolios. Notably, Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever has purchased several of the iconic brands on this list, including Hellmann’s and Good Humor.

These are ten great American brands that are foreign-owned.

1. Lucky Strike
> Founding date: 1871
> Sector: Tobacco
> Current parent company: British American Tobacco PLC
> Currently headquartered: England

The Lucky Strike Cigarettes company was founded in Virginia in 1871. At the turn of the century, American Tobacco Company acquired the brand. The North Carolina-based company was one of the first to implement cigarette-manufacturing machines. During their heyday, through the first half of the 20th century, Lucky Strike was one of the top-selling tobacco brands, and was the number one cigarette in the country by the 1930’s. While sales have fallen since then, the brand has seen a modest resurgence lately due in part to the use of the cigarettes in the popular show Mad Men. In 1994, U.K.-based British American Tobacco PLC acquired the American Tobacco Company and all its subsidiaries.

2. Budweiser
> Founding date: 1852
> Sector: Beverages
> Current parent company: Anheuser-Busch Inbev
> Currently headquartered: Belgium

Iconic American lager Budweiser was developed in 1876 by Adolphus Busch — son-in-law of German immigrant Eberhard Anheuser — and his friend Carl Conrad. It was the first American brewery to use pasteurization, allowing the company to ship the beer over large distances and reach a wider audience. Over the years, Budweiser became America’s best-selling beer prompting the company to adopt the slogan: “The King of Beers.” In 2008, despite concerns among the Busch family that American jobs would be lost, Brazilian-Belgian company InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. for roughly $52 billion. Budweiser remains the top-selling beer brand in the U.S., with 2012 Bud Light sales close to $6 billion in 2012, more than any other brand, according to market research firm SymphonyIRI Group. With craft beers growing at a faster rate than name-brands like Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch InBev has attempted to compete by introducing a variety of Budweiser with more alcohol and new packaging such as Bud Light Platinum and Black Crown early this year.

ALSO READ: Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

3. Vaseline
> Founding date: 1876
> Sector: Skin Products
> Current parent company: Unilever
> Currently headquartered: England

Brooklyn chemist Robert A. Chesebrough developed petroleum jelly in 1870 from what was then considered a waste product from oil drilling. The substance can be used to treat injuries such as burns, cuts, and diaper rash. Chesebrough began marketing it as Vaseline in 1870, and it wasn’t long before the brand became the most popular petroleum jelly product nationwide. By the early 20th century Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was selling and manufacturing its product internationally. Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Vaseline in 1987.

4. Good Humor
> Founding date: 1923
> Category: Ice cream
> Current parent company: Unilever
> Currently headquartered: England

In 1923, Harry B. Burt of Youngstown, Ohio, patented his new method of making frozen confections — freezing ice cream bars to wooden handles and coating them in a hard chocolate layer. According to Burt, the value of the new process was in its sanitation and cleanliness. Instead of opening a store to sell his new Good Humor bars, Burt organized a fleet of ice-cream trucks with bells and carefully trained white-clad salesmen. When its founder died in 1926, the company went public and successfully expanded across much of the U.S. Unilever subsidiary Lipton purchased Good Humor in 1961.

ALSO READ: Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2014

5. Hellmann’s
> Founding date: 1913
> Sector: Condiments
> Current parent company: Unilever
> Currently headquartered: England

Capitalizing on his wife’s popular mayonnaise recipe, German immigrant Richard Hellmann founded Hellmann’s delicatessen over 100 years ago in New York City. In 1932, West Coast mayonnaise competitor Best Foods acquired Hellmann’s. By that time, Hellmann’s was flourishing and had already expanded across much of the East Coast, introducing new condiments including its Tartar Sauce and Sandwich Spread, a combination of relish and mayonnaise. In 2000, Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Best Foods and its subsidiaries. The company claims Best Food and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, which are sold on the West and East coasts respectively, are identical products.

6. Purina
> Founding date: 1894
> Sector: Pet food
> Current parent company: Nestle
> Currently headquartered: Switzerland

Founded in St. Louis in 1894 by William H. Danforth, George Robinson and William Andrews, the original Purina company was initially known for its wheat cereal. Company president Danforth revolutionized the production of pet food by producing animal feeds in pellet form and renamed the company Ralston Purina. General Mills acquired Ralston’s cereal business in 1997. Swiss multinational food manufacturer Nestle merged with Ralston Purina Company in December of 2001, creating a new division, Nestle Purina PetCare.

ALSO READ: The 10 Least Respected Companies in America

7. French’s
> Founding date: 1876
> Sector: Condiments
> Current parent company: Reckitt Benckiser
> Currently headquartered: England

Francis French, co-owner of R.T. French Company, expanded his father’s spice business to include a prepared mustard spread, which in general was not commercially available in 1904. Since its introduction at that year’s World’s Fair in St. Louis, French’s mustard has become an American staple. According to the company, French’s can be found in roughly 36% of all U.S. households. Despite its great American history, the company was acquired by a foreign entity early in its history. In 1926, J&J Colman, based in the U.K., purchased French’s for $3.8 million. Now, after two additional mergers, French’s is controlled by U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser.

8. Frigidaire
> Founding date: 1918
> Cateogry: Appliances
> Current parent company: AB Electrolux
> Currently headquartered: Sweden

The Guardian Frigerator Company was founded in 1916 to manufacture the newly developed electric refrigerating units. Prior to the invention, consumers generally kept their food cold with ice boxes. Compression-driven air conditioning was a novel concept. General Motors purchased the refrigerator manufacturer just two years later, naming it Frigidaire. Over the following few decades, General Motors often competed with Kelvinator and General Electric for top share in the new lucrative refrigeration market. In 1979, White Consolidated Industries, also an American company, acquired Frigidaire. Seven years later, however, the company changed hands again when it was acquired by multinational Swedish appliance manufacturer AB Electrolux.

ALSO READ: The Nine Best Deals on Black Friday

9. Popsicle
> Founding date: 1923
> Product: Ice cream
> Current parent company: Unilever
> Currently headquartered: England

Popsicle, touted as an “American classic,” began by accident when 11-year old Frank Epperson left a stick in a cup of soda outside in freezing temperatures in 1905. Epperson sold the product to the Popsicle Corporation, and the frozen fruit juice on a stick was on its way to becoming an American icon. Following complicated legal battles between the ice pop company and ice cream manufacturer Good Humor over the definition of ice cream, Good Humor acquired Popsicle in 1989. Eventually, Anglo–Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Good Humor and its subsidiaries.

10. 7-Eleven
> Founding date: 1946
> Product: Convenience stores
> Current parent company: Seven & I Holdings, Co.
> Currently headquartered: Japan

7-Eleven, aptly-named for its extended hours, was one of the first convenience retailers. Jefferson Green, an employee at Dallas, Texas’ Southland Ice Company, began offering milk, bread, and eggs at one of Southland’s ice houses in 1927. As the ice houses grew in popularity, they became convenience outlets and came to be known as Tote’m stores, because “customers ‘toted’ away their purchases.” It was not until 1946 that the stores changed their name to 7-Eleven. Today, 7-Eleven is the world’s largest convenience store franchisor. In 2005, Seven-Eleven Japan completed its purchase of 7-Eleven, Inc, becoming Seven & I Holdings, Co. Ltd.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; History; Society
KEYWORDS: americanbrands

1 posted on 11/27/2013 7:21:22 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The English own French’s?
Then...shouldn’t it be, “English’s”?


2 posted on 11/27/2013 7:27:30 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Revolting cat!

French’s is English. WHO KNEW?


3 posted on 11/27/2013 7:27:35 AM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: SeekAndFind
Anybody ever heard of Lawson's?

Lawson's started as a convenience store chain in Ohio and moved to Japan.

They are the biggest competitor to 7-11. 7-11 has more stores in the Tokyo area. Lawson's have more in the Kansai (Osaka/Kobe) area.

Together, they overwhelmingly dominate the convenience store market in Japan. And they both started in the U.S.A.

4 posted on 11/27/2013 7:30:28 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Add Del Monte to the list. Consumer side was sold recently.


5 posted on 11/27/2013 7:36:21 AM PST by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Wow I remember Lawson’s from growing up in Cleveland in the 60s. I think they’re completely gone from Ohio, right?


6 posted on 11/27/2013 7:37:58 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: Ghost of SVR4

RE: Add Del Monte to the list. Consumer side was sold recently.

So, which foreign entity owns them now?


7 posted on 11/27/2013 7:38:48 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Vigilanteman

RE: 7-11 has more stores in the Tokyo area.

I visited Taiwan recently. I see 7-11’s in block after block after block everywhere, from Taipei to other cities.


8 posted on 11/27/2013 7:40:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Some company from the Philippines.


9 posted on 11/27/2013 7:40:10 AM PST by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

I just checked, it is called DEL MONTE PACIFIC.

http://www.delmontepacific.com/website/content.aspx?i=1


10 posted on 11/27/2013 7:44:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

And who owns Bank of America?
Who owns the conglomerate that owns the FOX network?


11 posted on 11/27/2013 7:44:53 AM PST by subterfuge (CBS NBC ABC FOX AP-- all no different than Pravda.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m reminding everyone.. Smithfield Hams....Chinese owned.

It’ll be a cold day you know where before I buy another, and I usually did.
The Co. also owns Armour and a few other brands.


12 posted on 11/27/2013 7:49:18 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: SeekAndFind

Winchester Firearms owned by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal, Belgium.


13 posted on 11/27/2013 7:49:34 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: subterfuge

RE: And who owns Bank of America?
Who owns the conglomerate that owns the FOX network?

If the shareholders are the owners of a company, then I am not sure at any one point in time who is the owner of a company.

It could be that more Americans now own Toyota Motors Corp. or Hyundai than the Japanese or Koreans do.


14 posted on 11/27/2013 7:53:51 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: FReepers
End It Before Thanksgiving


Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

15 posted on 11/27/2013 7:53:58 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: SeekAndFind

A Dutch company pronounced ‘ah-hole’ owns the Martin’s Food Chain.


16 posted on 11/27/2013 7:57:04 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What about Chrysler, they’re owned by Fiat who also owns Ferrari.


17 posted on 11/27/2013 8:00:36 AM PST by Lx (Do you like it? Do you like it, Scott? I call it, "Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman Chili.")
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To: Vigilanteman
"Anybody ever heard of Lawson's? Lawson's started as a convenience store chain in Ohio--"

Wow, that is a blast from the past that his been hidden in the deep dark recesses of my feeble mind. Kind of like rediscovering Lucy's Toy Shop and Casper the Camel.

18 posted on 11/27/2013 8:01:31 AM PST by buckalfa (Tilting at Windmills)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Winchester Firearms owned by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal, Belgium.

Good enough for John Moses Browning, good enough for me.

19 posted on 11/27/2013 8:11:57 AM PST by EricT. (Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Big brother is watching you.)
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To: Vigilanteman
Lawson's started as a convenience store chain in Ohio and moved to Japan.

Couldn't deal with Governor Strickland, eh?


20 posted on 11/27/2013 8:15:08 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: EricT.

True, it’s not always a bad thing. Plus Winchester was having many guns made by Miroku starting in the 70’s.


21 posted on 11/27/2013 8:15:27 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: All

But, hey, Free Trade WORKS! All the Free Traders say so /sarc

Only the most Economic Anti American would cheerlead such a development like this...American companies owned by foreigners. American wealth gets redistributed out of the country with foreign ownership...always happens


22 posted on 11/27/2013 8:17:18 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (2014: Real Conservatives Only, Please)
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To: SeekAndFind

You think that’s weird....

Heinz here in Pittsburgh ended up owning Star Kist Tuna when they acquired Del Monte. Then they spun it off to some Korean outfit. The new owners needed a HQ with experienced employees who knew their business. So they came back to Pittsburgh, and are now located across the parking lot from Heinz Field.

Where else would you expect to find a Korean tuna company than Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?


23 posted on 11/27/2013 8:17:30 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

American Idol...which airs on foreign owned Fox Network...is actually owned by RTL...the company from Luxembourg that owns Fremantle Media (who produces AI)

American Idol isn’t even American. It’s Luxembourg Idol


24 posted on 11/27/2013 8:20:44 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (2014: Real Conservatives Only, Please)
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To: SeminoleCounty

RE: But, hey, Free Trade WORKS! All the Free Traders say so /sarc

Would you be happy with a law that says — It is ILLEGAL for American Companies to be acquired by a Foreign entity?


25 posted on 11/27/2013 8:21:55 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Vigilanteman

I liked Lawson’s when I lived in Japan. However, with Japan’s strict (socialist) laws, all end markets have to charge the same for everything, under threat of severe penalties...Walking in one store is a lot like walking into another..


26 posted on 11/27/2013 8:23:53 AM PST by ArtDodger
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To: SeminoleCounty

Companies buying controlling shares of stock has nothing to do with free trade.


27 posted on 11/27/2013 8:27:36 AM PST by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: a fool in paradise; Buckeye McFrog
Mr. French was British. :-)


28 posted on 11/27/2013 8:28:10 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido

Is Mr. Lee American or Korean?


29 posted on 11/27/2013 8:29:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Vinnie

Smithfield hams are delicious. With everything China made, what is the big deal about Smithfield? I will continue to buy them.


30 posted on 11/27/2013 8:30:09 AM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Larry Lucido

and Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was about as French as William Shakespeare.


31 posted on 11/27/2013 8:31:57 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Larry Lucido; Revolting cat!
Mr. French was British. :-)

Grey Poupon is Krafty American mustard!


32 posted on 11/27/2013 8:35:21 AM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

Westinghouse Electric Company - that 60,000+ employee company who used to build power plants, nuclear plants, submarine reactors, and transformers and generators and electric appliances?

Sold to Siemens (Germany) in the mid-90’s. One small division is left American-Owned because the Navy did not want its high-enrichment reactor technology and secrets owned by a German company.

But GE and General Motors both made more money from their finance divisions and loan er-investments GMAC for example - than from their manufacturing sides.


33 posted on 11/27/2013 8:49:58 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: SeekAndFind

True. Funny how obama-types never get called out for attacking companies that huge numbers of Americans are invested in.


34 posted on 11/27/2013 11:23:59 AM PST by subterfuge (CBS NBC ABC FOX AP-- all no different than Pravda.)
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To: Vigilanteman

I live in Japan so of course have heard of Lawson’s which is # 2 here , 7-11 being # 1 . Didn’t know it originated in the USA . Another big chain which did originate in Japan is Family Mart .


35 posted on 11/27/2013 1:57:50 PM PST by sushiman
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