The 21 biggest family-owned businesses in the world

Walton FamilyAP Photo/April L. BrownAlice, Rob, and Jim Walton, children of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

These are not your average mum and pop stores.

In a report on family businesses this month, Credit Suisse introduced the CS Global Family 900 universe — a database of the 920 largest family-owned companies in the world. Companies on the list are publicly-traded with market capitalisation’s of at least $US1 billion, as well as family-owned stakes of at least 20 per cent.

The 920 companies are found in 35 countries, with more than 64 per cent coming from Emerging Asia.

“In more developed markets, we see more fragmented ownership and many families selling out over time as a general theme,” Credit Suisse analysts noted. “Frequently quoted statistics from the Family Business Institute show that only one third of family-owned businesses last into a second generation of ownership, 12% to a third and just 3% to a fourth.”

But some of these companies have been controlled by families for generations, and no family business comes without family troubles. Many of these companies have experienced very public feuds between relatives. And with transgressions ranging from bribery to doing business with Hitler, some have done things that they probably wouldn’t do again.

Here’s the list of the top 21 family-owned businesses from the CS Global Family 900 universe. Spoiler Alert: Walmart is only number three.

21. Sun Pharmaceutical

Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical.

Industry: Health Care

Country: India

Market Cap: $US36 billion

Family: Shanghvi

Comment: According to Forbes, Dilip Shanghvi founded Sun Pharmaceutical in 1983 after borrowing the equivalent of $US160 from his father. Today it is the biggest drug company in India, making Shanghvi -- still the firm's largest shareholder -- India's second richest man.

20. CK Hutchison Holdings

CK Hutchison founder and chairman, Li Ka-shing.

Industry: Financials

Country: Hong Kong

Market Cap: $US36 billion

Family: Li

Comment: After a massive reorganization last month, Cheung Kong Holdings is now CK Hutchison Holdings, with Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, and his family at the helm. Li founded the company in the 1950s and today runs it with his son Victor. His other son Richard is also a billionaire.

19. Carnival Corporation

Industry: Consumer Discretionary

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US37 billion

Family: Arison

Comment: Siblings Micky and Shari Arison both hold large stakes in Carnival, the cruise ship operator founded by their late father, Ted. Micky is Chairman and a former CEO of Carnival, and also owns the Miami Heat. Shari has her own investment firm in Israel and is one of the richest people in the Middle East.

17. Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, poses with his son Akash, daughter Isha, wife Nita and mother Kokilaben.

Industry: Energy

Country: India

Market Cap: $US45 billion

Family: Ambani

Comment: The Ambani's are India's richest family. Mukesh Ambani is Chairman and CEO of the holding company founded by his father Dhirubhai. Mukesh's wife Nita also sits on the board, while son Akash and daughter Isha are on the boards of the company's retail and telecom units.

16. Richemont

Chairman of Richemont, Johann Rupert poses with his wife Gaynor and daughter Hanneli.

Industry: Consumer Discretionary

Country: Switzerland

Market Cap: $US46 billion

Family: Rupert

Comment: South African billionaire Johann Rupert founded the luxury goods conglomerate out of his father's tobacco company. Today, Richemont is the world's second largest luxury goods company behind LVMH with brands such as Cartier, Montblanc and IWC in its portfolio. The Rupert family remains a major shareholder.

15. Foxconn

Industry: Information Technology

Country: Taiwan

Market Cap: $US49 billion

Family: Gou

Comment: Foxconn, officially known as Hon Hai Precision, manufactures electronics for big name companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and more. The company founded by Terry Gou came under fire after a 2012 investigation by the New York Times documenting the terrible working conditions and high suicide rates in its factories across Asia.

14. Sun Hung Kai Properties

From left to right: Raymond, Walter, and Thomas Kwok.

Industry: Financials

Country: Hong Kong

Market Cap: $US49 billion

Family: Kwok

Comment: The Kwok brothers are all billionaires from the real estate company founded by their late father Tak-Seng -- but it hasn't been all smooth sailing in the family business. Walter Kwok resigned from the company in 2014 after a feud with brothers Thomas and Raymond. Later that year, Thomas resigned after being found guilty of bribing Hong Kong officials. Raymond is the Chairman of the company and his sons Edward and Adam hold top posts. Walter, Thomas, and Raymond's mother Siu-Hing Kwong is a major shareholder and served as Chairwoman of the company from 2008-2011 after brokering a truce between the brothers.

13. McKesson

Industry: Health Care

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US55 billion

Family: McKesson

Comment: McKesson was founded by John McKesson and Charles Olcott in 1833. Today the company is one of the largest in the United States and is a leader in pharmaceutical distribution and healthcare IT. A significant amount of shares are still held by McKesson's descendants.

12. SoftBank

Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank.

Industry: Telecommunication Services

Country: Japan

Market Cap: $US72 billion

Family: Son

Comment: Masayoshi Son is Japan's second richest man, thanks to the global telecom company he founded in 1981. In addition to its own mobile, Internet, and e-commerce businesses, SoftBank owns 80% of Sprint and 32% of Alibaba. Son is said to be grooming a successor as he prepares to step down from his role as CEO.

11. Tata Consultancy Services

Industry: Information Technology

Country: India

Market Cap: $US80 billion

Family: Tata

Comment: Like most other Tata Group subsidiaries, Tata Consultancy Services is controlled by promoter and major shareholder Tata Sons. According to Tata Sons' website, about 66 per cent of the holding company's shares are held by philanthropic trusts controlled by the Tata family. The company traces its roots to 1868, when it was founded by industrialist Jamsetji Tata.

10. Nike

Nike co-founder Phil Knight with his son Travis.

Industry: Consumer Discretionary

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US882 billion

Family: Knight

Comment: Phil Knight has been the face of the iconic Nike brand since he co-founded the company in 1964. Just last month, however, Nike announced that Knight will step down from his role as Chairman in 2016. His son, Travis Knight, will take a seat on the board to continue the family legacy at the company.

9. Kinder Morgan

Richard and Nancy Kinder.

Industry: Energy

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US90 billion

Family: Kinder

Comment: After leaving Enron, Richard Kinder co-founded Kinder Morgan in 1997. With a massive portfolio of oil and gas pipelines, the company is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Kinder and his wife Nancy are major Houston philanthropists through their Kinder Foundation.

8. Volkswagen

Industry: Consumer Discretionary

Country: Germany

Market Cap: $US120 billion

Family: Piëch-Porsche

Comment: Many members of the Piëch-Porsche family together hold a majority stake in Volkswagen through their Porsche Automobile Holding company. The Piëch-Porsches are descendants of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, who was also a Nazi party member and designed the first Volkswagen for Adolf Hitler. Today at least five family members sit on the board of Volkswagen. Volkswagen brands include Porsche, Audi, and Bentley.

7. Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee walks with daughters Lee Boo-jin (R) and Lee Seo-hyun.

Industry: Information Technology

Country: South Korea

Market Cap: $US174 billion

Family: Lee

Comment: Lee Kun-Hee helped grow his father's company, Samsung Group, into a global conglomerate. He is chairman of the flagship business, Samsung Electronics, while his son (and expected successor) Jay Y. Lee is vice chairman. Daughters Boo-Jin and Seo-Hyun also hold executive roles within the firm. In 2014, a judge dismissed a suit from Lee Kun-Hee's siblings, all edging that he stole Samsung shares that they were supposed to inherit from their father.

6. Oracle

Oracle founder Larry Ellison with his children, Megan and David.

Industry: Information Technology

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US192 billion

Family: Ellison

Comment: Larry Ellison is still Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the software company that helped make him America's third richest man. He stepped down as CEO in September of 2014. While his children, Megan and David, both hold Oracle stock, it's unlikely that they will take over the family business as they are both film producers.

5. Anheuser-Busch InBev

Industry: Consumer Staples

Country: Belgium

Market Cap: $US197 billion

Family: Lemann, Sicupira, Telles

Comment: Private-equity group 3G Capital was behind the 2008 merger that led to the creation of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Today, 3G Principal Jorge Paulo Lemann -- Brazil's richest man -- is the brewer's largest shareholder. His partners Carlos Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles also hold large stakes in the company. Together, the three men own about 26% of the company, and Lemann and Telles sit on the board of directors.

4. Facebook

Randi and Mark Zuckerberg with Katy Perry.

Industry: Information Technology

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US225billion

Family: Zuckerberg

Comment: Mark Zuckerberg has brought his family into his Facebook empire, which he still owns just under one-third of. His older sister Randi was a marketing executive at the company before leaving to start her own firm. Zuckerberg also gave his father 2,000,000 shares of Facebook stock to thank him for providing him with some money during the company's earliest years.

3. Walmart

Alice, Rob, and Jim Walton, children of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

Industry: Consumer Staples

Country: United States

Market Cap: $US241 billion

Family: Walton

Comment: The Walton family owns about half of Walmart through Walton Enterprises, according to Thomson Reuters data. The 50% stake is valuable enough to put five heirs among the wealthiest people in the world. Brothers Rob and Jim Walton sit on the company's Board of Directors, and along with sister Alice and sister-in-law Christy, each have a net worth hovering around $US35 billion. Cousins Ann Walton Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie are also billionaires from their company shares. Rob Walton's son-in-law Gregory Penner, succeeded him as Walmart's Chairman last month.

2. Roche

Industry: Health Care

Country: Switzerland

Market Cap: $US254 billion

Family: Hoffmann-Oeri

Comment: Fritz Hofmann-La Roche founded a coup syrup company that today develops some of the best cancer drugs in the world. His heirs still control at least half of the company's bearer shares, according to Bloomberg. The Hoffmann-Oeri family controls the company through their voting pool. The family has at least eight billionaires, including Dr. Andreas Oeri and André Hoffmann who both sit on the drugmaker's Board of Directors.

1. Novartis

Industry: Health Care

Country: Switzerland

Market Cap: $US279 billion

Family: Sandoz

Comment: Novartis is one of the the world's biggest drug makers, created in 1996 after the merger between Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy. Today, the descendants of Edouard Sandoz (who founded Sandoz in 1886) own a substantial amount of Novartis shares. The Sandoz Family Foundation is the company's single largest shareholder, and its president, Pierre Landolt, sits on Novartis' Board of Directors.

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