Companies You’ve Never Heard Of: Koch Industries
Privately held Koch Industries likely is a bit better known than it used to be — likely to the chagrin of David and Charles Koch, two of four brothers still involved with the company founded by their father, Fred Koch.
The Koch brothers have gained some notoriety in the political world, with liberals criticizing and conservatives welcoming their spending on a variety of causes. In response, Koch Industries has run a public relations campaign to improve the image of both itself and its founding family.
Still, Koch flies under the radar for most Americans not inclined to follow the political circus on a daily basis — but that doesn’t mean it’s an insignificant company. Koch Industries operates over 4,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines, manages cattle ranches and manufactures electrical components. It also owns well-known consumer brands.
Its Georgia-Pacific unit makes Brawny paper towels and Quilted Northern bath tissue. Another Koch business manufactures Stainmaster carpet and Lycra fabric. There’s no doubt even those ardently opposed to the Koch family’s political leanings use the company’s products every day. And there’s little doubt that often, they don’t even know it.