Australia has long had a terrible foreign ownership record, but it has improved a little in recent years. In this Crikey list we compare which Australian companies are generating more than $200 million a year overseas with which foreign companies are doing the same in Australia. We’ve also included investments of more than $200 million in businesses which are yet to deliver the revenue. Please send any corrections or additions to [email protected].


75 Australian companies generating more than $200m a year offshore

ABC Learning: world’s biggest child care company with big UK and US operations
Alumina: 40% stake in Alcoa bauxite/aluminium JV
Amcor: US, European, NZ, Asian paper
AMP: NZ operations
AGL: NZ gas assets
Ansell: global condom and glove sales
ANZ: NZ and increasing investments in Asia
Aristocrat: global poker machines sales, especially US and Japan
AWB Ltd: monopoly Australian wheat exporter

Babcock & Brown: investment banking and global investments
Babcock & Brown Capital: controls Irish telco Eircom
Babcock & Brown Infrastructure: large NZ, US and UK assets
Boart Longyear: recently floated drilling services company
BHP-Billiton: Escondida, Canadian diamonds, US copper etc
Billabong: global surf and street wear sales
Boral: US bricks, tiles, flyash, Asian plasterboard
BlueScope Steel: old BHP Steel business
Brambles: Chep pallets

Challenger Infrastructure: purchased UK assets in 2005 for $630 million
Cochlear: medical implants/bionic ear
Commonwealth Bank: NZ and limited Asian operations
Compass Group, US: catering giant that employs 10,000 Australians and turns over $900 million. Computershare: global share registry businesses
CSL: international blood products
CSR: sugar and aluminium

Downer EDI: growing infrastructure and engineering contracts in south-east Asia

Fairfax: New Zealand publishing
Flight Centre: travel services
Foster’s: global wine and dwindling beer operations

Goodman Fielder: food group which does have Kiwi billionaire Graeme Hart as the largest shareholder with 20%
GPT Group: expanding European interests through joint venture with Babcock & Brown since divorcing Lend Lease
GRD: Global Renewables JV in the UK to generate $2 billion in revenue
Gunns: Tassie tree exports

Iluka Resources: mineral sands exporter
Insurance Australia Group: NZ, UK and emerging Chinese insurance operations

Lend Lease: UK property and Bovis construction
Liberman family: property, banking

Macquarie Airports: large interests in European airports
Macquarie Bank: Asian property development, global trading
Macquarie Goodman: large industrial property management around the world
Macquarie Infrastructure Group: world’s biggest tollroad company
Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group: big UK operation
Macquarie Media: Taiwanese and US media operations
Michell family: Adelaide based wool and leather giant with revenues of $560m
Multiplex: UK/Dubai construction

NAB: UK banking
Newcrest Mining: gold exports
Nufarm: NZ chemicals business

Orica: Worldwide explosives business
OneSteel: steel exports
Oxiana: emerging miner in Laos, Philippines and Australia

Paperlinx: European paper operations
PBL/Packer: chemical, publishing, gambling, film production, cinemas

Qantas: airline business
QBE: various insurance operations

Resmed: booming sleep disorder products company with global sales pushing $1 billion
Rinker: US building products business under threat from a Mexican takeover
Rip Curl: global sales now approaching $700m

Sanger Australia: meat exporter with revenues of more than $500m a year
Sims Group: UK metal recycling
Smorgon Steel: steel exports and Asian division
Spotless Group: US plastics manufacturing and UK services business
Suncorp Metway: New Zealand insurance and banking operations

Telstra: New Zealand international operations
Teys Family: run a meat processing business with the Packers that turns over $1bn a year
Toll Holdings: NZ rail and Asian logistics
Transfield: US engineering services
Transpacific Industries: large investments in New Zealand waste disposal market
Transurban: US tollroad operations

United Group: large engineering and maintenance contracts

Visy: US paper
Village Roadshow: cinemas/film production

Wesfarmers: coal exports
Westfield: US, NZ and UK shopping centres
Westpac: NZ operations
Woolworths: NZ operations
Worley Parsons: 73 offices in 33 countries for engineering project management

Zinifex: (formerly Pasminco) zinc and lead

200-plus foreign companies generating more than $200m in Australia each year

ABB: Swiss, engineering, Redbank power station
Abbott Australasia, US: turned over $275 million in 2004 from its pharmaceutical and toiletry wholesaling business  in Australia
ABN Amro: Dutch, investment banking and funds management

Accenture, US: global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company
Accor: French, manages dozens of Australian hotels
Acer: Taiwan, computer hardware
ACI: US, glass

Adidas: German, sports goods and clothes
AES: US, Victorian and Queensland power stations
AIG: US, Insurance
Airbus Industrie: European, aircraft
Alcan: Canada, Gove alumnium plant
Alcoa: US, aluminium and bauxite joint venture with WMC
Aldi: German, supermarkets
Allianz: German, picked up HIH retail assets
American Express: US, card services
Anglo America: South African, bought Acacia and Shell coal assets
Aon, US: Chicago-based reinsurance and risk management giant with 1,700 staff

Astra Zeneca: UK, pharmaceuticals
Axa: French, 51% of the old National Mutual

Bass Group: UK, various hotels
Bayer: German, pharmaceuticals, consumer health
BAT: UK, tobacco
Baulderstone Hornibrook: German, construction
Baxter Healthcare, US: is a world leading supplier of products and technologies for blood, renal and intravenous therapy

Bechtel: Belgian, power and construction
BMW: German, car sales
Boeing: US, aircraft
Bosch: German, electrical and car parts, including Pacifica
Bridgestone: US, tyres
Bristol Myers Squibb: US, pharmaceuticals
British Telecom: UK, various telco investments
BUPA, UK: health insurer that bought the old National Mutual health insurance division in conjunction with Macquarie Bank for $595 million in 2002

Cadbury Schweppes: UK, confectionary and drinks
Campbell Soup: US, control of Arnotts and Snackfoods
Canwest: Canadian, controls Ten Network
Capital Group: US, funds management
Cargill: US, various agribusiness investments
Carter Holt Harvey: US/NZ, forestry
CED: US, bought cable company Metal Manufactures
CGEA: French, transport,water
Chase-Manhattan/JP Morgan: US, investment banking
Chevron: US, oil and gas
Chemcor: US, chemicals
Cisco Systems: US, software and telco systems
CITIC: Chinese, Portland aluminium smelter, beef
Citigroup: US, banking and financial services
Coca Cola Company: US, control of Coca Cola Amatil
Constellation Brands: bought BRL Hardy
Corporate Express: controls Corporate Express Australia – revenues of $700m
CS First Boston: Swiss-US, investment banking
CVC: US private equity firm that bought half of PBL Media assets

Daily Mail Group Trust: UK, invested more than $500m in the Nova radio network.
Daimler-Chrysler: US/German, cars and trucks
Dell Computers: US, computers
Deutsche Bank: German, investment banking
DHL: US, freight deliveries
Diageo: UK, drinks and spirits
Dyno Nobel: US business bought by Macquarie and now floated on Australian market
DRD: South African, gold mining
Dresdner: German, banking
Dubai World: bought P&O’s stevedoring, ports, cold storage and resorts
Du Pont: US, chemicals and textiles

Edison Mission: US, owns Loy Yang B power station
EDS: US, Commonwealth Bank IT contract
Electrolux: Swedish, white goods
Eli Lilly: US, pharmaceuticals, consumer health
Ericson: Swedish, telecommunication products
Exide: US, PacDun’s battery business
Exxon-Mobil: US, oil and gas

First Data Resources: paid $300m for Cashcard ATM provider

Fisher & Paykel: NZ, white goods
Fletcher Challenge: NZ, construction, forestry
Fluor Daniel: US, engineering and plant management
Ford: US, car manufacturing
Fortis: Belgian, financial services
Fuji: Japanese, cameras, film

General Electric: US, card processing, electrical goods
General Motors: US, car manufacturing
Glaxo-Wellcome/Smithkline Beecham: UK, pharmaceuticals
Glencore/Xstrata: Swiss, controls Xstrata which bought MIM and also controls Minara Resources
Goodyear: US, tyres
Google: internet search giant
Grand Hotel Group: Malaysian, various hotels
Guiness Peat Group: UK, corporate raiders

Hagermeyer: Dutch, Bought Pacific Dunlop’s electrical distribution business
Hanson: UK, coal and bought Pioneer
Hitachi, Japan: power tools, train systems, air conditioning, data and mining equipment 
UK, aircraft, defence, heavy engineering
Heinz: US, food, Weight Watchers
Hewlett Packard: US, computers
Hilton Corp: US, various hotels
Hitachi, Japan: power tools, train systems, air conditioning, data and mining equipment
Hochtief: German, controls Leighton Holdings
Hoechst: German, chemicals, food
Homestake: US, Kalgoorlie super pit
Hospira: US pharmaceutical company which bought Mayne Pharma (the old FH Faulding)
HSBC: Hong Kong, banking and broking
Huntsman: US, chemicals joint venture with the Packers
Hutchison: HK, telecommunications
Hyundai: Korean, cars

IBM: US, computers, IT
Illinois Tool Works: US, bought Siddons Ramset
Independent Newspapers: Irish, newspapers, radio, outdoor advertising
Infosys: the Indian IT giant has more than 650 employees in Australia and a burgeoning business.
Itochu: Japanese, mining, energy and engineering
ING: Dutch, investment banking, insurance

Johnson & Johnson: US, personal products

Kelloggs: US, cereals
KKR: US, legendary buy out firm bought Cleanaway from Brambles and a half share of Channel Seven
Kodak: US, film and cameras
KPN: Dutch, bought TNT
Kwok family: Singapore/HK, property and Shangri La
Kyocera Mita, Japan: big player in printers, photocopiers and digital cameras.

Lafarge: Swiss, cement/Blue Circle
Laing O’Rourke, UK: privately-owned construction company with 23,000 employees that bought Barclay Mowlem in 2006 and has major contracts in NSW and Queensland.
Li Ka Shing: Hong Kong, bought SA power industry and Victoria’s Powercor
Lion Nathan: controlled by Japanese brewer Kirin
LogicaCMG, UK: London-based IT company with 30,000 staff whose systems are used for 65% of all text messages. Has offices in all Australian capital cities

Lucent: US, backbone for web and mobile, bought JNA
Luxottica: Italian, eyewear group bought OPSM
LVMH: French, leather goods and drinks

Malaysia Mining Corp: Malaysia, mining
Marriott: US, hotels
Mars: US, chocolates, pet food
Marsh & McLennan: US financial and insurance giant
Marubeni: Japanese, aluminium and mining
Maxxium Worldwide, Netherlands: spirits company that owns or distributes brands like The Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky, Rémy Martin cognac, etc

McDonalds: US, fast food
Merck Sharpe Dohme: US, pharmaceuticals
Microsoft: US, software, NineMSN
Mitsubishi: Japanese, car manufacturing
Mitsui: Japanese, iron ore through Robe River, North West Shelf and meat
Motorola: US, stake in ERG, telecommunications

NEC: Japanese, computers
Nestle: Swiss, former PacDun food assets, plus recently bought Uncle Tobys
Newmont: US, gold mining after bought Normandy
Nike: US, sporting goods/shoes
Nippon Meat Packers Australia: Japan, $860m in annual revenues from Oz
Nippon Steel: Japanese, iron ore through Robe River
Nokia: Norway, mobile phones
Norske Skog: Norway, bought Fletcher Paper
Norwich Union: UK, financial services
Novartis: Switzerland, pharmaceuticals, consumer health

Obayishi: Japanese, tollroads
Ong Beng Seng: Singapore, hotels,retail
Oracle: US, IT industries
Orlando: French, wine
Mr CK Ow: Singapore, Stamford hotel chain

Paloma Industries: Japanese, Rheem/Vulcan water heater business
Panasonic: Japanese, electrical goods
Parmalat: Italian, dairy industry
Peabody Coal: US, bought Excel Coal in 2006
Pearson: UK, Grundy TV production, financial information
Pepsico: US, drinks and Pizza Hut
Pfizer: US, pharmaceuticals/viagra
Pharmacia: US, pharmaceuticals, consumer health
Philip Morris: US, food and tobacco
Phillips: Dutch, Polygram, electricals
Phillips Petroleum: US, oil and gas
Placer Dome: US, gold mining operations
POSCO: Korea, coal mining
Primus Telecommunications: US, telecommunications

RAG: German, coal mining
Revlon: US, cosmetics
Ricket & Coleman: US, pharmaceuticals
Rio Tinto: UK, Comalco, North and various other mining assets
Roche: Swiss, pharmaceuticals
Rothmans: South African, tobacco

San Miguel: Phillipines, Boags beer and Berri juice business
Sanofi-Aventis, French: pharmaceutical giant with global revenues of $27 billion.

SAP: German, software giant
Sara Lee: US, food and textiles

Schenker Logistics, German: annual global sales of $15 billion and more than 1,000 staff in Australasia across 41 locations
Schneider Electric: French, bought Clipsal Electric
Serco, UK: giant services firm that focuses on public sector out-sourcing like traffic management systems, IT contracting, airspace management, defence support, education and transport systems. Shell: Dutch-UK, oil, coal and gas
Siemens: German, electricals and engineering
Singapore Govt: Singapore, Optus, Australand, hotels, Vic energy
Simplot: US, bought PacDun pastry businesses
Sony: Japanese, music,electricals
Starwood: US, hotels
Sumitomo: Japanese, iron ore through Robe River
Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux: French, Pacific Waste Management

Tamrock OY: Finland, drilling equipment
Telecom NZ: NZ, AAPT
Texas Pacific: US private equity firm which controls Myer and wants Qantas
Thakral family: Singapore/HK, hotel chain
Thames Water: UK, water
Time Warner: US, internet, magazines and film production but how out of Queensland theme parks
Toronto Dominion: Canadian, discount broking and banking
Toyota: Japanese, car manufacturing
Tyco: US, fire protection and other industrial services

UBS: Swiss, investment banking
Unilever: Dutch-UK, detergents and ice cream

Viacom: US, Blockbuster video, various media interests
Visa: US, credit cards
Virgin: UK, airlines, mobiles, music and financial services
Vivendi: French, Victorian public transport, publishing, water
Vodafone: UK, mobile phone business
Volkswagon: German, car manufacturing

Weyerhaeuser: US, bought $300m of CSR’s timber businesses

Yamaha: Japanese, pianos, motorbikes

Please send any corrections or additions to [email protected].

Peter Fray

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