Koch Industries Company History Timeline

1925

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.

1927

In 1927, they developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline.

1932

The Winkler-Koch Engineering venture lasted until 1932.

1940

In 1940, Koch joined new partners to create the Wood River Oil and Refining Company.

1942

Private Company Incorporated 1942 as Rock Island Oil Refining CompanyEmployees 8,000Sales 16.00 billion.

1952

Protective of their tight control over every aspect of the oil business, the majors began a series of lawsuits against Fred Koch that would last 20 years and involve over 40 separate cases, eventually being resolved in 1952 when Koch won a 1.5 million settlement.

1958

Fred Koch s particular aversion to Soviet communism took a more direct form in 1958 when he helped found the John Birch Society, an ultra-right wing group soon to become notorious for its warnings about the threat of communists to United States society.

1960

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 Koch, Virtually every engineer he worked with there was purged.

1961

Charles Koch joined Rock Island in 1961, having started his career at the management consulting firm Arthur D. Little.

1966

He became president in 1966 and chairman at age 32, upon his father's death the following year.

1967

By the time of Fred Koch's death in 1967, sales at Rock Island and the various Koch subsidiaries had reached about 400 million, presenting the 32-year-old Charles Koch with a weighty responsibility.

1968

Wood River Oil and Refining Company was renamed Koch Industries in 1968 in honor of Fred Koch, the year after his death.

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.

1969

In 1969 Koch Industries merged with Atlas Petroleum Limited of the Bahamas, a distributor of crude oil and petroleum products with about 100 million a year in sales.

1970

In 1970, Charles was joined at the family firm by his brother David Koch.

1974

High Profit, Low Profile, Forbes, July 15, 1974.

Sales reached more than 2 billion in 1974, the first full year of post-OPEC price inflation in the oil business.

1979

While Koch had little luck in its exploration efforts, in 1979 the company moved decisively into the real estate business, joining Wichita businessman George Ablah in the formation of Abko Realty Inc.

The year 1979 also marked the beginning of the feud that eventually would split the Koch family.

Having started as a technical services manager, David became president of Koch Engineering in 1979.

1980

William Koch gained the support of the oldest brother, Frederick, until then relatively uninvolved in company affairs, and the two of them launched a proxy fight in 1980 aimed at ousting Charles from his leadership.

1981

The company picked up a second refinery in 1981, paying 265 million for a Sun Company plant in Texas, and had greatly expanded its capacity in gas-liquids fractionating and asphalt production, to name only two of its myriad activities.

1983

The attempt failed, and after a round of lawsuits and mudslinging, William and Frederick Koch were bought out in 1983 by Charles and David Koch for around 1.1 billion in cash.

1987

In 1987 the Justice Department announced it was investigating several companies on price-fixing charges, a Koch unit among them.

1996

By 1996 Koch Industries had revenues of about 30 billion, a 300-fold increase in the previous 30 years.

1997

McMillin, Molly, Koch Has Grown Quickly, Quietly, Wichita Eagle, March 23, 1997.

Though private and historically publicity-shy, Koch opened up a bit more in 1997 when it created a company web site.

1998

A more lasting venture also began in 1998 when Koch joined with the Saba family of Mexico to acquire Hoechst AG's Trevira unit, which specialized in advanced polyester resins and synthetic fibers.

1999

Collapsing hog prices forced Purina Mills to file for bankruptcy protection in late 1999.

2000

In January 2000 Koch agreed to pay a 30 million fine to settle the lawsuits that had been filed in connection with its involvement in more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states.

In a similar development, Koch in late 2000 faced a 97-count federal indictment charging it with covering up illegal releases of 91 metric tons of benzene, a known carcinogen, from its Corpus Christi refinery.

2001

From that time through 2001, William Koch continued to wage legal and emotional warfare against Charles Koch, going so far as to hire private detectives to gather evidence of wrongdoing by Koch Industries that was subsequently handed over to federal investigators.

The acquired assets formed the basis for the 50-50 joint venture KoSa B.V. In 2001 Koch bought out the Saba family, gaining full control of KoSa.

2004

In May 2004 Koch acquired the INVISTA textile unit from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company for 4.2 billion.

2005

In 2005, the company acquired Georgia-Pacific.

2006

Berkowitz, Bill, The Biggest Company You Never Heard Of, Global Information Network, January 5, 2006.

With the addition of Georgia-Pacific's 20 billion in annual revenues, Koch's revenues were expected to top 80 billion starting in 2006, making the firm the nation's largest private company, surpassing Cargill, Incorporated.

2008

In 2008, the company discovered that the French affiliate Koch-Glitsch had violated bribery laws allegedly securing contracts in Algeria, Egypt, India, Morocco, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia after an investigation by Ethics Compliance officer, Egorova-Farines.

2013

In 2013, the company acquired Molex, a provider of electronic components, for 7.2 billion.

2014

In September 2014, along with the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, the company acquired Flint Group, a printing ink producer, for 3 billion.

2015

In 2015, the company joined the Ban the Box movement by removing questions about prior criminal convictions from its job application, making it easier for ex-offenders to find work.

2017

In November 2017, Koch Disruptive Technologies was established, the corporation's venture arm, led by Chase Koch, son of Charles Koch.

Founded
1925
Company Founded
Headquarters
Wichita, KS
Company Headquarter
Founders
Fred Koch
Company Founders

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