The 4 biggest family-owned companies in Australia

Here are the Wal-Marts, the Volkswagens and the Berkshire Hathaways of Australia.

A new Global Family Business Index by the University of St Gallen in Switzerland reveals a list of the world’s 500 largest family-owned companies with retail and wholesale as the largest sector.

Here is how they define a family business:

For a privately held firm, a firm is classified as a family firm in case a family controls more than 50% of the voting rights. For a publicly listed firm, a firm is classified as a family firm in case the family holds at least 32% of the voting rights.

Linfox Australia Pty Ltd is Australia’s largest family-owned business, ranked 240 overall with more than $6 billion in revenue.

Two of the CEOs of Australia’s four biggest family-owned businesses are women.

The United States tops the chart worldwide with 101 businesses in the top 500 with Germany following closely behind with 94 businesses.

Here are Australia’s family powerhouses.

1. Linfox Australia Pty Ltd.

Photo: Linfox Leadership Profile.

Formed in 1956 by Lindsay Fox, Linfox Australia is a logistics and supply chain company with an estimated market share of 4.5% in the road freight transport industry. It generates $6 billion in revenue with over 23,000 employees and is currently chaired by Annette Carey.

2. Visy Industries Holdings Pty Ltd.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Visy Industries is a privately owned packaging and resource recovery company established by the Pratt Family in 1984. Anthony Pratt is the Global Chairman of the business which generates $4 billion in revenue and employs over 5,500 people. The company is the largest player in the plastic blow moulded product manufacturing industry and is estimated to account for 60.8% of revenue alone.

3. Crown Resorts Ltd.

Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Crown Resorts is Australia's largest gaming and entertainment group formed in 2007 by the Packer family. It generates $2.8 billion in revenue with 4,200 employees and has plans to develop a six-star hotel resort at Barangaroo South, Sydney. Since 2007, Rowen Craigie has been the CEO and Managing Director of Crown Resorts. The company alone generates more than half of the casino industry's revenue through its two Crown Casinos in Melbourne and Perth with 52.5% of the market share.

4. Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited 1955.

Getty Images/ Matt King.

Hancock Prospecting is a privately owned mineral exploration and extraction company founded by Lang Hancock in 1955. It is currently chaired by Gina Rinehart, with $2.4 billion in revenue and an estimated market share of 3.0% in the iron ore mining industry.

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