Top 10 Companies in the World 2015

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5. Berkshire Hathaway

An American multinational company, Berkshire Hathaway was founded in 1839 by Oliver Chace in Rhode Island as Valley Falls Company and was given its present name in 1955.

A conglomerate holding company, it has its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and manages a number of subsidiary companies. Out of the companies that Berkshire Hathaway oversees it owns NetJets, Lubrizol, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, BNSF, GEICO and FlightSafety International fully. It owns half of Heinz and significant minority holdings in companies like Wells Fargo, IBM, American Express, The Coca Cola Company and others. It also has an undisclosed percentage ownership in Mars and Incorporated.

Led by Warren Buffet, the company had 316,000 employees in 2014. The company initially focused on long term investment in public stocks but later moved on to buying whole companies. With time the conglomerate diversified and now owns range of businesses like retail, home furnishing, jewelry sales, encyclopedias and others. It has a number of home and foreign based insurance entities to take care of its insurance business and has four underwriting groups- General Re Corp., Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance group, Primary Group and GEICO.

Profits: $19.9 B

Market Value: $354.8 B

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