Top 10 family-run businesses in Europe ranked by revenue

BMW is one of the largest family-run businesses in Europe
From Germany to Denmark, these family-run businesses are the largest by revenue in Europe, covering everything from automobiles to steel manufacture

The latest EY and University of St. Gallen Family Business Index was recently published – and showed that the 500 largest family-run firms are growing faster than the global economy.

Focusing on Europe, Germany remained home to many of the world's largest family enterprises.

Here, we list the top 10 largest family businesses across the continent ranked by revenue. 

10: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA

Country: Belgium

Ranking: 26 / 500

Revenue: US$54.3bn

Responsible for more than 500 iconic brands, Anheuser-Busch Inbev is the largest beer company in the world.

AB InBev is the product of several historic mergers and assumed its current name in 2008 when InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch.

One of the firm's original brands, Leffe, was created in an abbey where Belgian monks would brew their own beer more than eight centuries ago.

09: CMA CGM S.A.

Country: France

Ranking: 23 / 500

Revenue: US$56bn

The CMA CGM Group was established in 1978 and now operates in more than 160 countries. 

From humble family beginnings, the French container transportation and shipping specialist has gone on to become the third-largest company of its kind in the world.

As recently as this month, the firm was confirmed as the official partner for logistics solutions ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

08: INA-Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG

Country: Germany

Ranking: 21 / 500

Revenue: US$58.4bn

Founded by German brothers back in 1946, the Schaeffler Group manufactures rolling bearings, plain bearings, linear systems and precision components for the automotive and aerospace industries.

While headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the company operates across the globe through its manufacturing, research and development facilities.

Its Indian subsidiary, Schaeffler India, is publicly listed on the National Stock Exchange of India.

Schaeffler Group also owns the brands INA, FAG and LuK.

07: A.P. Møller – Mærsk Group

Country: Denmark

Ranking: 19 / 500

Revenue: US$61.8bn

Founded in 1904 by Captain Peter Maersk Moller and his son, Arnold Peter Moller, Maersk held the crown of largest shipping company in the world from 1996 until 2022, when it was ousted by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

Today, the firm employs more than 80,000 people in 130 different countries. 

At the time of writing, Maersk was set to report a strong financial performance for 2022.

06: Roche Holding AG (Roche Group)

Country: Switzerland

Ranking: 16 / 500

Revenue: US$68.7bn

Known simply as Roche to many, the Swiss multi-national healthcare company operates worldwide in the pharmaceuticals and diagnostics sectors. 

By revenue, the firm is one of the biggest pharmaceutical developers in the world and a leading provider of cancer treatments.

Roche produces medicines for a substantial variety of disease areas, including oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience.

05: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA

Country: France

Ranking: 15 / 500

Revenue: US$76bn

LVMH operates across various business sectors including fashion, cosmetics, jewellery and wines – with a specialism in luxury goods.

The company in its current form was created through the merger of Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, which itself was the product of Moët & Chandon and Hennessy

As of December 2022, LVMH was the most valuable company in Europe according to the Euronext stock exchange, with a value of more than US$360bn. 

04: ArcelorMittal

Country: Luxembourg

Ranking: 14 / 500

Revenue: US$76.6bn

Headquartered in Luxembourg City, ArcelorMittal was established in 2006 following the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal Steel.

Surpassed only by the China Baowu Group, the firm is the second-largest steel producer in the world, with an annual crude steel production of 88 million metric tonnes. 

With a market value of US$25bn, the total value of ArcelorMittal's company assets is estimated to be around US$100bn.

03: Robert Bosch GmbH

Country: Germany

Ranking: 11 / 500

Revenue: US$93.1bn

Bosch is a name that has become synonymous with engineering and automotive innovation. 

Operations at the firm are spread across four sectors: mobility, consumer goods, industrial technology, and energy and building technology. 

Bosch is, in fact, 92% owned by a charitable institution called Robert Bosch Stiftung. Despite being funded by owning the vast majority of shares, the foundation is only involved in health and social causes unrelated to business decisions. 

02: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)

Country: Germany

Ranking: 11 / 500

Revenue: US$93.1bn

BMW was originally founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines during the First World War.

Today, the company's operations are focused on the manufacture of vehicles under the brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, and motorcycles under BMW Motorrad.

Founded in the Bavaria region of Germany, BMW remains headquartered in Munich, but produces vehicles in nations including the UK, the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

01: Schwarz Group

Country: Germany

Ranking: 4 / 500

Revenue: US$151.5bn

Topping the list of most valuable family-run companies in Europe is the Schwarz Group

With around 550,000 employees and 13,000 stores across 32 different countries, Schwarz is the largest retailer in Europe, with grocery stores under the Lidl and Kaufland brands. 

Supermarkets are based in most European countries and the group is in the process of expanding in the US with the opening of several Lidl stores. 

The Schwarz Group had revenue of US$158.1bn in the year to February 2022. 


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