Directory of Transnational Corporations

July 1996 Edition

compiled by George Draffan

© Public Information Network

P.O. Box 95316, Seattle WA 98145-2316



The Public Information Network is a 501(c)(3) public interest group providing research services and information to citizens and environmental, economic, and human rights activists. PIN maintains several databases on the environmental and social impacts of corporations, offers short-term as well as ongoing research services, and provides training in activist research methods. Contact us or visit our Internet site for updates to the Directory of Transnational Corporations, the Activist Research Manual, and other PIN projects. Create democracy.

"We need to publish a Catalog of Global Carpetbaggers, entrepreneurs eager to profit on misery. We should name names and illustrate the book with the shocking examples of what these people and their uncontrolled multinationals have done to the earth. We should describe these companies, who controls them, and estimate whether they are solvent enough to put up a big environmental restoration bond." -- David Brower (Beware of Joint-Venture Vultures, Earth Island Journal, Fall 1991, p.35).


Zurich Switzerland


900 Long Ridge Rd.

Stamford CT 06904


ABB was created in 1988 by the merger of ASEA of Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri of Switzerland; each retains its own companies (like ASEA's control of Electrolux) but shares equal ownership in the new conglomerate. ABB is now the world's largest electrical engineering corporation, with 1300 companies in 140 countries. Operations include power plants and transmission, electrical equipment, motors, robotics, satllite communications, steel-making equipment, and waste handling systems (Hoover's Handbook of World Business 1993, p. 116-117).

ABB Mannhein, a German subsidiary, was awarded a billion dollar contract to build a hydroelectric plant on the Karun River in Iran (Hoover's Handbook of World Business 1993, p. 116-117).

See also Combustion Engineering, a subsidiary of ABB since 1989.


Chromite mining in Philippines (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 136).

ADM see Archer Daniels Midland

ADOBE RESOURCES see Anglo American (Minorco)


Box 3627

Wenatchee, WA 98801


Imports and exports Central American wood, especially from Guatemala. Also has offices in Honolulu, Hawaii and Long Beach, California (Asian Timber, 1988).


1001 N. 19th Street

Arlington VA 22209


AES had a 33.7 percent return on equity in 1992 (1993 Business Week 1000, p. 199).

AES Barbers Point is the first major coal-fired power plant in Hawaii, and the single largest supplier of power to Hawaii Electric Company (equivalent to 18 percent of the electric consumption of the island of Oahu). AES has received environmental award for selling 100 tons of coal ash per day for use as a construction aggregate and as a soil amendment on sugar cane fields (Hawaii Investor, Apr. 1993, p. 14).


Sapele, Nigeria

Unilever owns 40 percent of UAC of Nigeria Ltd., which is part of African Timber and Plywood (Business in the Rain Forests, p. 90-91).



In 1958, Shell discovered petroleum near the Niger River delta in Nigeria; since then, Shell has extracted $30 billion worth of oil and natural gas. Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, and other oil companies generate 80 percent of Nigeria's annual revenue. Since 1993, the local Ogoni people have been suppressed; 20 Ogoni towns have been destroyed, 1,800 people killed, and 50,000 left homeless. The Nigerian government's hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni peoples activists on November 10, 1995. Shell has been condemned for its role; over 300 people protested at Shell's New York headquarters on November 13, 1995. A few days after the execution, Shell announced a new $4 billion Nigerian natural gas plan; ELF, and Agit are also involved. (Interview with Human Rights Watch on National Public Radio on Nov. 16; RAN Action Alert, No. 115, Dec. 1995).



Mitsubishi has a large investment in Agusan, producing plywood in the Philippines (Rainforest Action Network Action Alert, No. 79, December 1992). See Mitsubishi.




Has 350 facilities in 50 countries selling 10,000 chemical, fiber, automobile and aerospace coatings, and health care (birth control and fertility drugs, anesthetics, poultry vaccines) products worth about $10 billion per year; half the facilities are in the U.S. and Canada. New facilities include Singapore wood coating manufacturing; the company "also sees potential in Thailand, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, and Taiwan" (Asian Timber, Feb. 1992, p. 31-32).

Former company names include AKZO Coatings and Reliance Universal; brand names include Reliance, Levis paint, and Hanna.


Sitka, Alaska

Mitsubishi is part-owner of the Alaska Pulp Corporation, which has a subsidized monopoly on the Tongass National Forest and a mill in Sitka (Ran Action Alert, No. 94, Mar. 1994).


Sa'dah and Tabaq/Awtaq prospecting in Yemen with Cluff Resources. The joint venture is named Cluff Abela Minerals (Yemen) Ltd., or CAM (Mining Magazine, Sept. 1991, p.176).


425 First St. SW

Calgary, Alberta T2P 3L8



A subsidiary of Pacific Gas & Electric. Exports natural gas.


Alberta, Canada

Alpac is a Mitsubishi-backed pulp mill on the Athabasca River (Taiga-News: Newsletter on Boreal Forests, No. 5, March 1992, p.5).


1188 Sherbrooke St. West

Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 3G2


Spun off from Alcoa by U.S. court order in 1945 (see Alcoa).

Involved in Russia.

Alcan was involved in a feasibility study to reopen the Lydford bauxite mine in Jamaica; the Ukraine is also involved in the plan, with Jamaica Bauxite Mining (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p.179).

Part owner (with Reynolds Metals and others) of the Mineracao Rio do Norte project in the Trombetas River basin in Brazil. Like Alcoa and Shell-Billiton's Amazon Bauxite Mine, it is near the Trombetas Biological Reserve, and threatens the River itself.

See Business in the Rainforests: Corporations, Deforestation and Sustainability, by Conrad B. MacKerron (Investor Responsibility Research Center, Washington DC, 1993); and Who Owns the Earth, by James Ridgeway.


El Florida, Mexico

In the 1980s, Alco Pacific extracted lead from used car batteries. Dumped 80,000 tons of lead sulfate and other toxic and explosive chemicals; effects include a continuous undergound fire and respiratory and other diseases; the operation has been abandoned (The Workbook, Winter 1995-1996, p. 179, citing On The Line: Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border, by Augusta Dwyer, Latin American Bureau Research and Action, London, 1994).


425 Sixth Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Long-time aluminum monopoly owned by the Mellon family, found illegal by U.S. courts in 1945; the courts ordered Alcoa to sell many of its operations, including its Canadian ones (Alcan), and to license other producers under its aluminum ingot patents (A Primer on Monopoly and Competition, by William F. Mueller, Random House, 1970, p. 144). Alcoa was the first industrial user of Niagara River electricity. Alcoa has 159 manufacturing and sales facilities in 22 countries; its subsidiaries include Alcoa Aluminio (Brazil) and Alco Brazil Holdings Co., Alcoa of Australia Ltd., Coastal Chemicals, Alcoa Fujikura, Alcoa Nederland, Suriname Aluminum Co., and Stolle Corporation (building materials); it has joint ventures with Kobe Steel of Japan (KSL Alcoa) and Sam Sun Industrial of Korea (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 100).

Alcoa is involved in bauxite mining in Suriname, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, and Republic of Guinea; fabricating plants in Australia and Brazil; and alumina and/or chemical production facilities in Brazil, Jamaica, and Suriname.

Alcoa has been operating in Suriname since the early 20th century; it owns Suriname Aluminum Co. (SURALCO), which has a smelter at Paranam, Suriname. Power is supplied by the Afobaka dam, which was built by Suralco, and closed in 1964, creating a 650 square mile reservior. The International Society for the Protection of Animals held its "Operation Gwamba" to rescue animals threatened by the flooding (Operation Gwamba: the Story of Rescuing 10,000 Animals from Certain death in a South American Rain Forest, by the ISPA, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1967; and the Seattle Times, June 2, 1989, p.A4).

Suriname Aluminum bauxite projects (with Billiton and Shell near the Trombetas River in Para, and on Sao Luis Island) in Brazil are part of the Grand Carajas project (The Ecologist 19(6): 219-224 (1989). Communities in the Trombetas basin succeeded in delaying licensing of that mine, which would involve the construction of ten dams on the river, until Alcoa demarcates land titled to the blacks. The head of Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA was fired after her refusal to allow Alcoa to clearcut part of the Saraca-Taquera National Forest, where the mine is to be located (World Rivers Review, Nov/Dec 1991, p.4; and the International Rivers Network's Special Briefing, Jan. 1992).

Alcoa will spend more than $50 million over eight years to clean up its Massena smelter in New York; work includes disposal of treated soil and sludge, landfill and lagoon closure, and the restoration of streams and wetlands (Mining Magazine, Aug. 1991, p.103).

Alcoa of Australia Ltd.'s chairman, Arvi Parbo, is also chairman of Western Mining Corp. Holdings Ltd. ("Miners see profits in foreign markets," Associated Press, Dec. 6, 1992).

See Who Owns the Earth, by James Ridgeway.



Furniture manufacturer operating in Kuantan, Malaysia since 1991; the furniture is finished in Taiwan and marketed worldwide, some of it under its Datong brandname; its Malaysian operations are expected to expand (Asian Timber, Mar. 1992, p. 10).


See Who Owns the Earth, by James Ridgeway.


Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant near Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, for plutonium and uranium recovery from spent fuel (Carothers, Andre. The Death of Ellenton: Plutonium, Politics, and the State of South Carolina. Greenpeace magazine v. 13 n. 3).


Allied Ordnance, a joint venture between Nobel Industries and Shengli Holding (Singapore), is one of the major suppliers of weapons to SLORC, the military regime conrolling Burma (Burma Issues, Oct. 1993, p. 3).



"Allied Indo Coal" export contract; adjacent to the Indonesian government's Ombilin mine (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p.149).


Columbia Road & Park Ave.

Morristown NJ 07962


Aerospace, automotive, and chemicals giant. U.S. government accounts for 42 percent of its aerospace revenue. World leader in the production of hydrofluoric acid (for refrigerants). Owns 39 percent of oil and gas producer Union Texas. Bought Fisher Scientific Company in 1981 and Bendix in 1983. Owns Autolite spark plugs, Bendix brakes, and Fram auto filters. Had sales of $12 billion in 1990 (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1992 (p.86).

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Allied-Signal in 1991-92 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

Signed preliminary agreement with Russia to reprocess nuclear weapons plutonium into civilian reactor fuel (William J. Broad, New York Times, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 22, 1992).

ALPAC see Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries


Joint venture in Jamaican bauxite; involves Kaiser Aluminum, Reynolds Metals, Anaconda, and Norsk Hydro. Kaiser and Norsk Hydro (formerly W.R. Grace) got a $50 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (The OPIC: a Study in Political Risk, Praeger, 1979, p. 13-14; and in OPIC's Update: OPIC Financing in the Caribbean and Central America 1990-1991).

ALTAI DAM see Katun River Dam

AMAX see Cyprus Amax Minerals

200 Park Ave.

New York NY 10166


"American Metal," founded in 1887 by German investors. The company severed ties with Germany during World War I. Now owns Alumax (aluminum); AMAX Energy (including AMAX Coal, the third largest producer of coal in the U.S., and AMAX Oil & Gas, which explores in 31 states); three quarters of AMAX Gold (including the Fort Knox mine in Alaska and open-pit gold mining in Nevada; a third of Aztec Mining (Australia); Bandgap Technology; a quarter of BCL (Botswana nickel and copper); half of Canada Tungsten Mining; Climax Metals (including Climax Molybdenum, the world's largest producer); 40 percent of Compania Fresnillo and Zimapan (Mexico metals mining companies). AMAX also operates in New Zealand and Europe (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 102).

AMAX owns the Climax mine near Leadville, Colorado; AMAX discovered molybdenum there, and is proud of the fact that it invented a market for the mineral. Some 460 million tons of ore have been extracted; another 150 million are anticipated before the mine is depleted. Spring runoff contaminated with heavy metals is permitted by the State of Colorado; the runoff goes to the Dillion Reservoir, used by Denver for drinking water. There have been over a hundred permit violations (1977-1988), according to the Nova television program "Poison in the Rockies," which cited a 1988 Colorado Dept. of Health report.

Sold its Australian gold mines (1980s).

In 1990, there was a bidding war against Hanson for Peabody Coal (Hanson won).

In the 1980's, Chevron (then Standard Oil of California) controlled some 22 percent of AMAX (Time, Mar. 23, 1981, p. 72).

Meadowlark Farms is an Amax subsidiary working on coal mine reclamation in the Gillette, Wyoming area (Jules Loh, AP, Seattle Times, June 28, 1992).


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Provides wood chips. Has a 205,000-acre Caribbean pine plantation established in the early 1980s near Amapa, Brazil. In August 1993, Amcel sent a shipload of chips to Longview, Washington, as a test for American mills; companies participating in the trial, believed to be the first chips imported from South America, include Weyerhaeuser, Boise Cascade, Longview Fibre, and James River Corporation (Oregonian, Aug. 27, 1993, p. E1; and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aug. 30, 1993, p. B4).


2 Stephen Street

London W1P 1PL



Aberdeen AB1 4LE



Amerada Minerals Corporation

700-9 Avenue Southwest

Calgary, Alberta T2P 4B3



Amerada Minerals has plants in Hanna, Bluffton, and Alta, Alberta.

Amerada was begun by Pearson in the 1920s.


Toronto, ON


Until 1985, Barrick was a small gold producer with profits of $7 million. That year, Barrick "purchased" the Goldstrike Mine in northern Nevada; the company will pay the U.S. government $5,190 for 1,038 acres of land containing $8 billion worth of gold. By 1993 Barrick's profits were $175 million, and the Goldstrike was being billed as North America's richest gold mine (see "The Great Gold Heist" by Thomas J. Hilliard, in Clementine: the Journal of Responsible Mineral Development, Spring/Summer 1993, p.9-10). The estimates as to the worth of Goldstrike vary; by May 1994, when Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt signed Barrick's mineral patents, it was estimated that Barrick was getting $10 billion worth of gold for less than $10,000. Babbitt was quoted as saying that "it's the biggest gold heist since the days of Butch Cassidy. But these folks stole it fair and square. The West has long been settled but the giveaway continues unabated." The Goldstrike operation is dewatering aquifers along the Humboldt River, having lowered the water table under the mine by some 1,200 feet. The groundwater deficit will be filled by water from the Humboldt, drawing as much as two-thirds of its flow (High Country News, May 30, 1994, p. 5; and June 13, 1994, p. 6, citing University of Nevada hydologist Tom Myers' The Hydrologic Effects of Open Pit Gold MIning in the Humboldt River Drainage, published by the Sierra Club, PO Box 8096, Reno NV 89507-8096).

The Mineral Policy Center, publisher of Clementine, has an Environmental Report Card on American Barrick; write to the Center, Room 550, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005.


One Cyanamid Plaza

Wayne NJ 07470


Produces or markets in 135 countries (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p.106).

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on American Cyanamid in 1991-92 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

Owns Lederle Labs (cancer business); acquiring 53 percent of Immunex; has a drug plant in Puerto Rico (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mar. 19, 1993, p.E1).

With Freeport McMoRan, owns Brewster Phosphates (Who Owns the Earth, by James Ridgeway).


American Express Tower

World Financial Center

New York NY 10285


Begun before the Civil War as a delivery service. American Express is now a world leader in investment services (42 percent of its 1991 sales of nearly $26 billion); it is also involved in travel services (38 percent of sales), financial services (10 percent); international banking (40 countries), and information services (cable TV through its share of Warner Amex Cable, hospital billing, telemarketing, and data management). Its subsidiaries include AMEX Life Insurance, First Data Corporation, IDS Financial Services, Lehman Brothers, Shearson Lehman, Atlanta magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, and Travel & Leisure Magazine. Eighty percent of 1991 sales were in the United States, but nearly half its profits were from overseas. AmEx has 111,000 employees in 2,700 offices in 160 countries (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 108, Everybody's Business, 1980, and Everybody's Business, 1990).

In 1992, AmEx agreed to the New York State Attorney General's pressure to reveal to its cardholders that the company compiles information about their spending habits and sells it to merchants (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 108).

AmEx is involved in Third World debt "relief," including a $5.6 million debt for nature trade involving The Nature Conservancy in Costa Rica, a $3.6 million trade in Ecuador, and another in Jamaica (see page 198 in Business in the Rainforests: Corporations, Deforestation and Sustainability, by Conrad MacKerron; Investor Responsibility Research Center, Washington DC, 1993).

Involved in trade "liberalization," through the business lobby Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) Coalition.

AmEx has received assistance from the U.S. OPIC, for its banking operations in Turkey, according to OPIC's 1991 Annual Report.

In 1991, AmEx had 40,000 cardholders in Indonesia, out a 32 million American Express cards worldwide (Wall Street Journal, Mar. 25, 1993, p. A1).

There are at least two boycotts against American Express, according to the Summer 1994 Boycott Quarterly: one called by the Grizzly Bear Task Force and Rocky Mountain Earth First!, for AmEx's financing of a ski resort in bear habitat in Colorado; contact the GBTF at PO Box 6151, Bozeman MT 59715 or EF! at PO Box 1166, Boulder CO 30306. Another boycott has been called by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals because of the promotion and sale of fur coats through AmEx's catalogues; contact PETA at PO Box 42516, Washington DC 20015-0516.

American Express was profiled in Brian Ahlberg's "American Express: The Stateless Corporation" in the Multinational Monitor (Nov. 1990, p.29-32).


One East Fourth St.

Cincinnati OH 45202


Diversified holding company; the eighth-largest private company in the U.S. in 1990. Its holdings are from insurance premiums: includes a majority of Chiquita, a minority of Penn Central Railroad, Charter Co. petroleum marketing, and radio and TV stations. 1990 sales of $8 billion (half of it in food products, a quarter in insurance), and a debt ratio of 91 percent (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1992, p.97).


12430 SW Hemian Rd.

Tualatin, OR 97062


Sells plywood and veneer made of mahogany, rosewood, and teak (Directory of the Forest Products Industry, 1988).


685 Third Ave.

New York NY 10017


"A conglomeration of almost 200 companies which market hundreds of products ranging from heart medicine to spaghetti" (David Lap, "American Home Products moves abroad," Multinational Monitor, April 1991, p.21-24).

Brandnames include Advil, Anacin, Dristan, Premarin, Preparation H, Robitussin, Jiffy Pop, Chef Boyardee, Norplant, Chap Stick (Hoover's Handbook of American Buisness 1992).

Operates in 18 countries, sells in 140 countries. Bought 30 food and drug companies in the 1930s depression. Uses division names (A.H. Robins, Whitehall Labs, etc.), thus making itself unknown to the average consumer. Sold its South African businesses in 1989 (Hoover's Handbook of American Buisness 1992).

AHP's Whitehall plant in Elkhart, Indiana was closed in 1990 and the facility was moved to Guayama, Puerto Rico, earning AHP a spot in "Corporate Crime & Violence in Review" (Multinational Monitor, Dec. 1991, p.11).


550 N. Poplar St., Suite 6

Casper WY 82602


Holds uranium, radium, and vanadium ores which it intends to develop. Has only 4 employees (Worldscope 1992).


32 Avenue of the Americas

New York NY 10013

tel: 212-605-5500

fax: 212-308-1820

Has a 39 percent stake in the Ukraine's telephone agency (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 23, 1992, p. B1).

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