Going public is often regarded as the final step in a private company’s growth. While a public offering streamlines fund-raising activities and offers many other advantages, many owners prefer to keep control of their companies.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from company data reviewer PrivCo to identify the largest company in each state. Based on revenue, these companies range in size from Minnesota-based Cargill to Wyoming’s Bloedorn Lumber.
> Largest private company: Safeway Inc.
> 2015 revenue: $37.7 billion
> Annual growth rate: 1.5%
> Headquarters: Pleasanton
Going public confers some important benefits to large companies, including increased visibility, which can lead to greater earnings. For this reason, if public companies were considered for this list, the vast majority of the largest companies in each state would be public. Texas-based public oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil Corp., for example, with 2015 revenue of $268.9 billion (down substantially from previous years), is much larger than Dell, which reported revenue of $58.1 billion last year and is the largest private company in the state.
Still, there are plenty of very large corporations that never opted to make a public offering. Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries, for instance, dwarfs the operations of Sprint Corp, the state’s largest public company. Sprint reported annual revenue of $32.2 billion in 2015, a fraction of Koch’s $115.0 billion revenue.
To identify the biggest company in each state, 247 Wall St. reviewed the largest private companies in each state based on revenue figures provided by PrivCo. Privco also provided annual growth rates, which are based on the most recent three fiscal years for each company, with the exception BCD Travel’s annual growth rate, which is based on the most recent two fiscal years. Headquarter locations also came from Privco.