What Is the Average Life Span of a Multinational Corporation?

A multinational corporation is a business enterprise that operates facilities in at least one other country other than its home nation. Some corporations of this type operate with a domestic headquarters but with manufacturing and sales offices located in other nations. The average life span of a multinational corporation is 40 to 50 years, with many companies failing or being absorbed in takeovers and mergers within the first 15 to 20 years.

More facts about multinational corporations:

  • According to information found in Fortune magazine‚Äôs annual Fortune 500 listing, one-third of the companies identified in the 1970 listing were no longer in existence by the time the 1985 listing was compiled.

  • Multinational corporations are found in just about every industry. Some well-known companies that operate with facilities in at least one international location include Apple, Cadbury Schweppes, Capital One, Gerdau Ameristeel and Hewlett Packard.

  • Although many multinational corporations disappear within 50 years, there are exceptions. The Stora company began as a copper mining operation in Sweden in the 14th century and is now a major paper, pulp and chemical operation. In like manner, the Sumitomo Group dates to 1590 and is still in business, with divisions functioning in a variety of industries.

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Why? Because of bankruptcy or mergers and acquisitions?

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