They’re one of America’s richest but least known corporate dynasties: the Cargill-MacMillan family. The source of their billions, the commodity trading giant Cargill Inc., is the largest privately held company in the US by revenue. Quietly, both the company and its owners are enjoying some of their best times ever interwin.
That’s rather counterintuitive. Pandemics, wars, inflation and geopolitical chaos don’t typically make for a good business backdrop. But it’s precisely the treacherous conditions of 2020 to 2023, including supply-chain mayhem and wild price gyrations, that are driving the profitability of the commodity trading industry interwin.
Keeping track of all the money isn’t straightforward: Cargill, which was founded in 1865 in Iowa but is today headquartered in a suburb of Minneapolis, eschews publicity. It decided a few years ago to stop releasing annual financial statements. Bloomberg Opinion has managed to take a look via a copy of its fiscal year 2023 accounts. What emerges is a world of riches, where the money is big and easy.