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Popular "all-American" Companies That Are Now Internationally-Owned

There are plenty of famous companies that we know as being classically American. These brands have offered some of the best services and products that the world has ever seen and put the USA on the map. But the world is full of surprises – and it turns out these all-American businesses aren’t so American anymore. Keep scrolling to see which of your go-to favorites are now owned and run somewhere else.

Vaseline

The company was bought by British multinational consumer goods company Unilever for a whopping $3.1 billion. Because of this, the headquarters for Vaseline can now be found in London, England.

Gerber

Gerber is now owned by Nestle. Nestle bought the company back in 2007.

Tiffany & Co.

You probably don’t need us to tell you that Tiffany & Co. has a strong American history. Although the company stayed in American hands for almost 200 years, French-owned LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton decided to buy the company in 2020.

GrubHub

In 2020, GrubHub was bought by Dutch multinational online food ordering and delivery company, Just Eat Takeaway.com. Amazingly, this company was formed during the mergers of two London-based and Amsterdam-based takeaway companies.

Sunglass Hut

The all-American brand is currently in the hands of the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica Group. They bought Sunglass Hut back in 2001.

The Cleveland Cavaliers

Although the team is now owned by all-American people – including the famous singer Usher – this wasn’t always the case. In 2009, the Chinese investor Jianhua Huang bought a 15% stake in the team. Apparently, LeBron James had become hugely famous in China, and Jianhua wanted a piece of the LeBron James pie.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s can be found across America, it’s now owned by the Aldi Nord group – a German multinational family-owned company, which has the Albrecht family at the helm. 

Chrysler

This car company was founded in 1925 in America, which is why today it’s considered to be one of the most classic American cars out there. In 1998, it was bought out by Daimler-Benz of Germany. But since then, it’s changed hands, and it’s now a part of Stellantis N.V., which is a multinational automotive manufacturing corporation that is headquartered in Amsterdam.

Citgo

Like other all-American companies, Citgo was created by an American businessperson. Henry L. Doherty formed the company back in 1910, but since 1986 it has been owned by Petróleos de Venezuela, which is a Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company.

Universal Music Group

Under Dutch law, Universal Music Group is a Dutch-American group, but the shareholders are from around the world. Chinese company Tencent owns 20% of the company, while British investment trust Pershing Square Holdings has also purchased 10%.

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn was previously owned by founder Kemmons Wilson and his business partner Wallace E. Johnson, the Holiday Inn company was bought by the Intercontinental Hotels Group from the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

Hellmann’s

During a deal that incorporated a few different brands, Hellmann’s was actually bought by British multinational consumer goods company Unilever. This company also owns companies such as Dove and Ben & Jerry’s.

Greyhound Lines

In 2007, British bus company FirstGroup Plc decided to buy Laidlaw International Inc., which just so happened to own Greyhound Lines.

7-ELeven

7-Eleven started off with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, times have changed, and the company was bought out in 1987. Now, it’s actually a Japanese company and is owned by Seven & I Holdings.

Hilton Hotels

A portion of the hotel empire is Chinese. In 2016, 25% of the company was sold to the Chinese investment company HNA Group, which made them the majority shareholder. With that in mind, you could say that it’s no longer an all-American company.

Ben & Jerry’s

In 2000, Ben & Jerry’s switched from being an American company to an English company when Unilever bought the ice cream giant. But despite this, the company’s HQ is in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Dirt Devil

Dirt Devil hasn’t been an American company since 2003. Although the Dirt Devil headquarters are still in the U.S. (in North Carolina, to be exact), this company is now owned by Chinese company Techtronic Industries. Interestingly, this company also owns Vax and Hoover.

Budweiser

Belgian multinational drink and brewing company AB InBev decided to buy Budweiser in 2008.

Tesla

Elon Musk himself is South African with Canadian citizenship. So, it’s not equally the classic American company we all thought it was. However, it does have some American ties. Although Musk is the majority shareholder of Tesla, the second-largest holder of Tesla is Vanguard Group – which is an American company. Because of this, it’s fair to say that Tesla is multi-national.

Burger King

Is owned by Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian company that also owns Tim Hortons and Popeyes.

General Electric

While a lot of the appliances bought here will have “Made in America” stamps on them, this company is no longer American. Although the appliances may be made in America, all of the decisions about General Electric are made by the Chinese company Haier. They bought General Electric back in 2016.

Popeyes

Is owned by the Canadian company Restaurant Brands International. The Toronto-based company bought the fast food chain back in 2017.

Purina

In 2001 when it was sold to Nestle. Of course, the Swiss-owned company is known predominantly for its cereals, but it’s fair to say that it’s now also made its mark in the pet food world. And while Purina may be popular in America, it’s no longer American.

Firestone

In 1988 to become what we know as Bridgestone Firestone. During this deal, Firestone was acquired by the Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd, which is a Japanese company.

Snapchat

In 2017, the Chinese investment company Tencent decided to buy 145.8 million shares in Snapchat, So, Snapchat is both American and Chinese now.

Riot Games Inc.

In 2011, a 93% stake in the company was sold to Chinese company Tencent Holdings. But a few years later, in 2015, they decided to buy out the last slice of the pie to take on full ownership.

John Hancock Life Insurance

it seems as though this all-American company has changed its ways over the years. Now, it’s no longer American and primarily owned by a Canadian corporation. Yes, when John Hancock Life Insurance was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, many buyers came out of the woodwork. But it was Manulife Financial Corporation’s $1 billion offer for an all-stock takeover that ultimately won this battle.

Lucky Strike

British American Tobacco PLC bought the American Tobacco Company in 1994, which meant that Lucky Strike went with it.

Forbes Magazine

In 2014, Forbes was bought by Hong Kong-based company Whale Media Investments. However, things changed a little in 2023 when American entrepreneur Austin Russell bought 82% of the company.

IBM (PC Division)

IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo back in 2004. If you didn’t already know, Lenovo is a Chinese company.

Brookstone

When the company was forced to file for bankruptcy, two Chinese companies called Sanpower and Sailing Capital decided to save the retail stores from extinction. Sadly, they’re now facing even more financial trouble.

Hoover US

Although the headquarters of this company can still be found in North Carolina, the day-to-day running of Hoover US takes place in Hong Kong, where it’s owned by the Chinese company Techntronic Industries.

Frigidaire

If you’re looking for a classic American company that sells kitchen appliances and accessories, then Frigidaire has got your back, right? Everyone in the U.S. should be familiar with this brand, which has been around since 1918, when it was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Amazingly, this company got off the ground when the founder of General Motors decided to help out the company’s founders, Nathaniel B. Wales and Alfred Mellowes, with the financials. Frigidaire was originally sold in 1979, but it has since been sold to an international company. Yes, Sweden’s Electrolux company bought it back in 1986, which means that it’s now technically Swedish.

Ironman

Ironman was bought by Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group, who bought the company in 2015. Since then, though, it has been exchanged back to American hands.

Alka-Seltzer

Alka-Seltzer was bought in 1978 by Bayer for an impressive amount of money. It’s reported that they bought all 5.4 million shares.

Sotheby’s

In 2019, the majority share of this company was sold to French-Israeli businessman Patrick Drahi.

Spotify

The streaming service was founded by Swedish entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, but it just so happens that its headquarters can be found in the Big Apple, New York. To make matters even more confusing, Spotify is actually listed on the New York Stock Exchange through their Spotify Technology S.A. company, which is listed as a Luxembourg City-domiciled holding company.

This article was originally published on 365Economist