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Sunday, 22 June 2014


The oldest company in the world was a Buddhist Temple builder that had been in business continually for 1,428 years before succumbing to financial difficulties in 2006.

The five oldest companies, still running, are in Japan, and 52.8% of the worlds 985 oldest companies (that's 520) are in Japan.

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in old Dutch), was established on March 20, 1602, when the Netherlands gave a group of small trading companies a 21-year monopoly to trade in Asia. It was the first company to issue stock, one of the first multinational corporations, and possibly the first megacorporations. The Dutch East Company had the power to start wars, make treaties, make its own money, and start new colonies.

Between 1602 and 1796 the Dutch East Company sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods.

The Dutch East India Company's headquarters in Amsterdam. By Amsterdam Municipal Department for the Preservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites (bMA), Attribution, Wikipedia Commons

Weighed down by corruption in the late 18th century, the Company went bankrupt and was formally dissolved in 1800. Its colonies became the Dutch East Indies which later became Indonesia.

The East India Company was formed in 1600 to pursue trade with the "East Indies" but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and Qing China.. By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000 - twice the size of the British army. It also once accounted for half of the world's trade.

The General Electric Company was founded on April 15, 1892. In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average. It is the only one of the original companies still listed on the Dow index,

General Electric in Schenectady, NY, aerial view, 1896

UPS was started in Seattle by two teenagers, James Casey and Claude Ryan, with one bicycle and $100 borrowed from a friend on August 28, 1907. Their motto was "best service and lowest rates".

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard held a coin toss in 1939 to decide whose name would go first when they set up the company. Packard won the toss and chose to put Hewlett's name first so itbecame Hewlett-Packard.

On April 8, 1946 √Člectricit√© de France, the world's largest utility company, was formed as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors.

IBM announced a loss of $4.97 billion for 1992 broke the then record for the largest single-year loss in US. corporate history.

In 1998 Mercedes-Benz bought Chrysler for $40 billion and formed DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history.

Exxon and Mobil signed a US$73.7 billion agreement to merge on November 30, 1998, creating ExxonMobil, the world's largest company.

AOL Time Warne's loss of $98 billion dollars in 2002 was the largest loss in history. The loss was roughly the same size as the gross domestic product of Israel.

On May 14, 2008 there were 5,586 companies with over 200 years of history across 41 countries. More than 3,000 of those are in Japan and 837 in Germany.

Walmart regained the No. 1 title on Fortune’s list of the top 500 companies in 2013, with Exxon Mobil dropping back to runner-up. According to Fortune, the world’s biggest retailer has held the top spot nine times since 1955, swapping only with the oil giant (13 times) and Detroit stalwart General Motors (37 times).

Walmart Stores, Inc is the largest private-sector company employer in the world. In 2014 it had 2,200,000 employees on its books.

Inside the Walmart Supercenter in West Plains, Missouri. By 7OA - Wikipedia Commons

Nolan Bushnell, founder of the video game company Atari, also founded the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain.

Cisco is not an acronym. It's short for San Francisco, where the company was founded.

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