Cargill of Minnesota is once again America’s largest privately held



Cargill is once again the largest privately held company in the United States.

Forbes’ annual ranking puts Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc. at the top of the list after slipping to second place last year. It’s a familiar place for the food and agribusiness giant, which has now topped the list three times since Forbes started compiling it in 1985.

Cargill said its revenue increased 17% through May to $ 134.4 billion. Kansas-based energy conglomerate Koch Industries, which replaced Cargill last year, fell back to second place with estimated revenue of $ 115 million.

Cargill fell from first place last year after a series of challenges that included the US-China trade war, African swine fever and the onset of the pandemic, although the company has always made a small profit. Higher prices for agricultural products this year contributed to the company’s latest profit surge.

The company, which has 155,000 employees worldwide, is one of four companies that together control approximately 85% of the world’s beef processing. In August, Cargill, already a major turkey processor, decided to increase its share in poultry processing with a joint venture to acquire the country’s third-largest chicken producer.

Cargill did not respond to a request for comment.

Food companies in general have done well on this year’s Forbes list, thanks in large part to surging consumer demand last year as the first months of the pandemic pushed Americans back into their kitchens.

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix has jumped to third on the list this year, with revenue surging 18%. Of the other seven in the top 10, five are in the food industry: Virginia-based Mars, Texas-based HEB, Reyes Holdings in Illinois, Tennessee’s Pilot Company, and New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers.

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