Crikey is keen to establish which non-American countries own which globally recognised brands in this globalised world and will give a free sub to anyone who can come with 5 brands that should be added to this list. We’re also building a list of global brands not owned by their country of origin.

Before you get into our version of this, check out what Business Week ran last year on the top 100 global brands.

Australia: the definites

Foster’s is the only walk up start with their beer being one of the best known brands in the world but still not in the global top 100.

Qantas is also very well known but it is 25 per cent owned by British Airways.

Wine brands such as Grange, Lindeman, Penfolds and Rosemount also rate and the wine industry is Australia’s best in globalisation terms.

The arguables

Billabong is growing rapidly in the sportswear market globally and privately owned Rip Curl is not that far behind. Similarly, Global shoes for skateboarders started in Melbourne and have penetrated the US market.

Aristocrat gaming machines are now the world’s biggest in dozens of countries.

The Bovis-Lend Lease construction brands spreads everywhere from the Las Vegas strip, to the World Trade Centre and Moscow Airport.

Westfield is now a household shopping centre name in the US and New Zealand and is becoming so in the UK.

Ansell started in a Richmond backyard and is now a well known condom and rubber products brand that is the last thing left in Pacific Dunlop.

Cochlear is a global product but sales of the ear inplants are not yet $200 million.

Chep pallets are known globally know and Brambles developed these with UK comapny GKN.

Flight Centre: has a strong presence in much of the English speaking world – US, Canada, UK, NZ, Sth Africa.

News Corp: The Fox and Sky brands are definitely globally known, as is Harper Collins and Twentieth Century Fox but the argument is whether a company run out of New York by an American citizen is Australian.

Akubra and Drizabone are niche brands known in some part of the world.

Aluminium boats are another Australian speciality with Austal (WA) and Incat (Tasmania) and Riviera on the Gold Coast all winning global contracts, including with the US military.


Steyr Daimler Puch, Lauda Air, Arnold Schwarzenegger


Brierley Investments, Pat Rafter, Tyco fire products.


Agfa film, Becks beer, Guylian chocolates, Fortis, Petrofina, Stella Artois.


Four Seasons Hotels, Molson beer (formerly owned by Foster’s), Royal Bank of Canada, Seagrams Canada Club (now owned by Diageo of the UK), Northern Telecom (Nortel), Macmillan Blodel, McCain Foods, Sun Life, Thompson Publishing.


Air China, China Telecom, Tsingtao beer, Legend


Cohiba, Romeo e Julieta, Partagas and all the other cigar brands. Havana Club rum. Bacardi was Cuban but family fled in the 60s and is now registered in the Bahamas and distills in Mexico.

Czech Republic:

Pils Urquell, Skoda cars (part German).


Bang & Olufsen, Carlsberg, George Jensen, Kahlua, Lego


Bonita bananas (13% world share)


Linux, Nokia


Airbus Industrie, Alcatel, Axa, Baccarat glassware, Bic, Chanel, Christian Dior, Citroen, Club Med, Duralex glass, Elf, Exocet missiles, Ibis, Infogrames games publisher, Lalique glassware, Le Crueset cookware, Look, Louis Vuitton, L’Oreal, Meccano, Michelin, Mirage aircraft, Moet & Chandon, Moulinex kitchenware, Novotel, Pernot Ricard, Perrier, Peugot, Renault, Scholtes appliances, Sofitel, Thomson electronics, Titus games publisher, Vivendi, Waterman pens, Yves St Laurent, Zodiac inflatable boats.


Adidas, Allianz, Arriflex movie cameras, Audi, BASF, Bayer, Becks, Birkenstock, BMG Records, BMW, Bosch, Braun, Deutsche Bank, DHL, Faber Castel, Grundig, Hugo Boss, Lufthansa, MAN (engineering), Mauser firearms, Mercedes Benz, Miele, Nivea, Porsche, Puma, Siemens, Smeg appliances, Staedtler, TDK, Volkswagen, Walther firearms, Zeiss lens and glasses.


Onassis shipping companies, Olympic Airways, Metaxa brandy.


Daiquiri run

Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific, Dragon Air, HSBC, Jardine Matheson


Air India, Infosys


Garuda Air


Guinness, Jamieson’s, Jefferson Smurfit, Waterford Chrystal.


Uzzi pistols.


AGIP, Alessi, Armani, Barilla pasta, Benetton, Alfa Romeo, Cinzano, Dolce & Gabanna, Duccati, Ferrari, Ferrero Rocher, Fiat, Galliano, Gucci, Lamboghini, Lavazza, Maserati, Moschino, Nastro Azzuro beer, Olivetti, Peroni, Pirelli, Prada, Valentino, Zegna.


Tia Maria


Air Nippon, ANA, Asahi beer, Bridgestone, Canon, Casio, Daihatsu, Dunlop, Fuji, Fujitsu, Honda, Isuzu Auto, Kawasaki, Kirin beer, Matushita, Minolta, Mitsubishi, Nikon, Nintendo, Nissan, Olympus cameras, Panasonic, Pentax, Sharp, Subaru Motors, Suzuki, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Yamaha, Yokohama.


Arab Bank


Proton, Lotus, Malaysian Airlines, Petronas.


Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Kia, Daewoo


ABN Amro, DAF trucks, Heinekin, ING, Philips, KLM (the oldest airline in the world), Rabobank, Grolsch beer, Jamo Loudspeakers, Reed Elsivier, Shell (part British), Unilever (part British).

New Zealand

Fisher & Paykel, Anchor, Steinlager (now controlled by Kirin of Japan), Canterbury, Air New Zealand.


Kvaerner (engineering giant), Jarlsberg cheese, Wilhelmsen shipping line.


San Migel, Air Phillipines


Benfica FC, Mateus Rose, Pedro Domecq.


Aeroflot, Bolshoi Ballet, Kalishnikov, Lada, MiG fighter jets, Stolichinya, Tupolov aircraft.


Baxter soups, Glenfiddich, Harris Tweed.


Tiger beer, Singapore Airlines, Tiger balm.

South Africa

Dunhill and much of the Rothmans cigarette empire which is owned by the Rupert family, South African Airways, Castle Lager, De Beers diamonds.


Barcelona soccer club, Chuppa Chups, Iberian airlines, Osborne brandy, Real Madrid soccer club, Repsol, Telefonica, Toledo steel.

Sri Lanka

Dilmah Tea.


Absolut Vodka, Electrolux, Ericcson, Husquvarna chains saws and motor bikes, Ikea, Kosta Boda glassware, Linde Gas, Nobel Peace prize, Orrefors, Red Head matches, Saab, Skandia, Silva compasses, Skandinavian Airlines, SKF ball bearings, Tetra Pak, Volvo (owned by Ford).


ABB, Christian Dior, Ciba-Geigy chemicals, CS First Boston (part US), Lindt chocolates, Nagra recording equipment, Nestle, Novartis, Oerlikon, Omega, Roche (Valium), Rolex, Rossignol, Swatch, Swiss Banking Corp, TAG Hauer, Novartis and Syngenta, Victorinox army knives, Winterthur Insurance, Zurich insurance.


Eva Air, Acer


Thai Airways, Singha

Trinidad and Tobago

Angostura Bitters

United Kingdom

Amstrad, Astra-Zeneca, Barclays Bank, BBC, Beefeater gin, BP, Body Shop, British Airways, British American Tobacco, British Telecom, BSA (bikes, guns and clothes), Burberry fashion accessories, Cadbury Schweppes, Cambridge University, Castrol, Christie’s, Concorde, Drambuie, Dunlop (part Japan), Derwent pencils, Dyson appliances, EMI, Financial Times, Glaxo Smithkline, Hilton, HP sauce, ICI, John West, Johnnie Walker, Lloyds of London, Lotus, Manchester United, McLaren Formula One, MG, Oxford University, P&O cruises, Pilkington Glass, Reebok, Reed Elsevier (part Dutch), Reuters, Rogers of Sheffield cutlery, Rover, Royal Doulton, Shell (part Dutch), Smirnoff, Sotheby’s, Tetley Tea, Triumph motorcylces, Twinings, Unilever, Virgin, Vodafone, Walkers Shortbread, Williams Formula One.


Global brands not owned by the country of origin

Agfa: German to Belgian

Aston Martin: UK to US (Ford)

Bacardi: Cuba to Bahamas

Baileys: Ireland to UK (Diageo)

Bentley: UK to Germany (Volkswagen)

Bofors Defence Systems: Sweden to US

Burger King: US to UK (Diageo)

Chrysler: US to Germany (Daimler Benz)

Corona: Mexico to US (51% owned by Annheuser Busch

Cunard: UK to US

Ducati: Italy to US (TPG)

Encyclopedia Britannia: UK to US

Fourex beer: Australia to Japan (Kirin)

Guiness: Ireland to UK (Diageo).

Hard Rock Cafe: US to Singapore (Ong Beng Seng)

Harrier jump jets: UK to US when Hawker Sidderley was sold

Harrods: UK to Egypt (Al Fayed still doesn’t have a British passport)

Hoechst: Germany to France (Aventis)

Jacobs Creek: Australia to France (Pernod Ricard)

Jaguar: UK to US (Ford)

Jeep: US to Germany (Daimler-Chrysler)

Lamborghini: Italy to Germany (Volkswagen)

Land Rover: UK to US (Ford)

Maserati: Italy to France (Citroen)

Match Box cars: UK to US (Mattel)

Meccano: UK to France

Mini Cooper and Mini Minor: UK to Germany (BMW)

Mitsubishi: Japan to Germany-US (Daimler Chrysler own a large stake)

Nicorette: Sweden to UK (GlaxoSmithkline)

Nissan: Japan to France (Renault own large stake and appoint CEO)

Opel: German to US (General Motors took it over 1932)

Piaggio (Vespa): Italy to US (TPG)

Rolls Royce: UK to Germany (BMW)

SAAB cars: Sweden to US (GM)

Slazenger: US to Australia (Pacific Dunlop) but now to venture capitalists.

Smirnoff: Russia to US in the 1930s

Speedo: Australia to US (Sara Lee)

STA Travel: developed by the Australia student movement but sold to Swiss in 70s

The Sun: UK to Oz/US (News Corp)

The Times of London: UK to Australian-US (News Corp)

TNT: Australian to Netherland (KPN)

Twentieth Century Fox: US to part-Australian (News Corp)

Universal Studios: US to France (Vivendi)

Volvo cars: Sweden to US (Ford) Waterford Chrystal: Ireland to UK (Wedgewood)

Worcesteshire Source: UK to France (Danone)


Crikey has built up a large array of lists and we now have a separate easy to find section in our archive which include the following fascinating lists:

* 40 Australian companies turning over more than $200 million a year overseas compared with 200 foreign companies turning over more than $200 million a year in Australia.

* 200 Australian journalistic couples.

* Politicians drawing a public pension whilst working in the private sector.

* Journalists now in corporate and government jobs.

* Lily white journalists who never sold out and have spent more than 15 years in the profession.

* Journalists who have made it to senior management.

* Working journalists who have previously been political staffers.

* Journalists currently working for PR agencies.

* Journalists now or recently working for politicians.

* Register of famous defamation battles.

* The Crikey Rich List.

* Cynically timed announcements.

* Journalists in Parliament.

* Journalistic dynasties and nepotism in Australia.

* Unionists currently in Parliaments across Australia.