Koch Industries

    Koch Industries history, company profile (overview) and corporate video

       Koch Industries is a conglomerate (a multi-industry company) involved in various industries such as refining and chemicals; service process & pollution control equipment; minerals; fertilizers; fibers and polymers; commodity and financial trading; forest and consumer products; ranching; and business development. It is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, United States.


    Predecessor companies

       In 1925, Fred C. Koch joined MIT classmate Lewis E. Winkler at an engineering firm in Wichita, Kansas, which was renamed the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company. In 1927 they developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline. This process threatened the competitive advantage of established oil companies, which sued for patent infringement. Temporarily forced out of business in the United States, they turned to other markets, including the Soviet Union, where Winkler-Koch built 15 cracking units between 1929 and 1932. During this time, Koch came to despise communism and Joseph Stalin’s regime. In his 1960 book, A Business Man Looks at Communism, Koch wrote that he found the USSR to be “a land of hunger, misery, and terror.” According to Charles G. Koch, “Virtually every engineer he worked with [there] was purged.”

       In 1940, Koch joined new partners to create a new firm, the Wood River Oil and Refining Company, which is today known as Koch Industries. In 1946 the firm acquired the Rock Island refinery and crude oil gathering system near Duncan, Oklahoma. Wood River was later renamed the Rock Island Oil & Refining Company. Charles G. Koch joined Rock Island in 1961, having started his career at the management consulting firm Arthur D. Little. He became president in 1966 and chairman at age 32, upon his father’s death the following year.

    Koch Industries

       The company was renamed Koch Industries in honor of Fred Koch, the year after his death. At that time, it was primarily an engineering firm with part interest in the Pine Bend Refinery in Minnesota, a crude oil-gathering system in Oklahoma, and some cattle ranches. In 1968, Charles approached Union Oil of California about buying their interest in Great Northern Oil Company and its Pine Bend Refinery but the discussions quickly stalled after Union asked for a large premium. In 1969, Union Oil began trying to market their interest in Great Northern by telling potential buyers that Koch’s controlling interest could be thwarted by currying favor with another owner, J. Howard Marshall II. When Marshall discovered this he threw his lot in with Koch, they together acquired a majority interest in the company and ultimately bought Union’s interest. Ownership of Pine Bend refinery led to several new businesses and capabilities, including chemicals, fibers, polymers, asphalt and other commodities such as petroleum coke and sulfur. These were followed by global commodity trading, gas liquids processing, real estate, pulp and paper, risk management and finance.

       In 1970, Charles was joined at the family firm by his brother David H. Koch. Having started as a technical services manager, David became president of Koch Engineering in 1979.

       In 2013, the company acquired Molex International, an electronics components company.

       In April 2014, Koch Industries and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs agreed to acquire printing ink producer Flint Group for around $3 billion.”

       In 2017, Koch Industries acquired Guardian Industries.


    • Flint Hills Resources;
    • Georgia-Pacific;
    • Guardian Industries;
    • Infor;
    • Invista;
    • KBX;
    • Koch Ag & Energy Solutions;
    • Koch Engineered Solutions;
    • Koch Investments Group;
    • Koch Minerals & Trading;
    • Molex.


    • Asphalt;
    • Chemicals;
    • Raw materials trading;
    • Energy;
    • Fibers;
    • Fertilizers;
    • Finance;
    • Minerals;
    • Natural gas;
    • Plastics;
    • Petroleum;
    • Pulp and paper;
    • Ranching.

       With more than 200,000 employees, Koch Industries, Inc. is considered one of the world’s largest private companies. According to Forbes, it is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World.

    *Information from,, and

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    **Video published on by Koch Industries



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