Fred Koch, who created an innovative system for refining crude oil, co-founded the company in 1940. His sons Charles and David bought out their brothers in the early 1980s for a mere $1.1 billion, and now own and operate the company.
Koch has never been publicly traded, and really, that’s no black mark. The company has plenty of resources to pull off major acquisitions — and did so this week, snapping up Molex (MOLX), a top components supplier to operators like Apple (AAPL), for $7.2 billion.
In fact, Charles Koch is no fan of public markets. In a Bloomberg article, he said quarterly earnings were “pernicious.” Instead, he thinks being private allows his companies to focus on investments that produce sustainable gains.
So far, so good.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.