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Ten Classic American Brands Owned by Foreign Companies

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A chart of ten classic American brands now owned by foreign companies.

Ten Classic American Brands Owned by Foreign Companies

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Popular brands have an intangible effect on culture. As symbols of eras past and present, they’re associated with identities, lifestyles, and trends in society.

Using data from 24/7 Wall St, we list some classic American brands that are owned by foreign companies

A List of American-Founded, Foreign-Owned Brands

Tiffany and Co.’s 183-year American story came to an end in 2019 after French luxury giant LVMH announced plans to acquire the company.

The sale did not progress smoothly but in 2021, LVMH completed its acquisition for a slightly-reduced $16 billion price tag.

In the years since, Tiffany’s earnings have doubled, LVMH’s stock price has risen 50%, and Bernard Arnault—LVMH Chairman and CEO—has become the world’s richest man.

CompanyFirst Sold to
Foreign Buyer
Current Owner
Trader Joe's1979🇩🇪 Aldi Nord
Burger King1989🇬🇧 Grand Metropolitan
7-Eleven1991🇯🇵 Seven & I Holdings
Lucky Strike1994🇬🇧 British American Tobacoo
Chrysler1998🇳🇱 Stellantis N.V.
Ben and Jerry's2000🇬🇧 Unilever*
IBM (PC Business)2005🇨🇳 Lenovo
Budweiser2008🇧🇪 Anheuser-Busch InBev
Popeyes2017🇨🇦 Restaurant Brands International
Tiffany & Co.2019**🇫🇷 LVMH

*Unilever has announced it’s spinning off its ice cream businesses. **Deal finalized in 2021. Data current to May 2024.

Another brand from 19th century America, Lucky Strike, saw its ownership change in 1994, when British American Tobacco Company acquired the American Tobacco Company.

Meanwhile, a hallmark of the American automaker landscape, Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998. Since then however the company has moved and merged with others (Fiat) and is now under the Stellantis N.V. group, with headquarters located in Hoofddorp, Netherlands.

A more recently born U.S. brand, (in comparison to earlier mentioned stalwarts), Trader Joe’s stayed American-owned for only 12 years after it was founded in 1967. Theo Albrecht, owner and CEO of Aldi Nord, a German supermarket chain, acquired the business in 1979.

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