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Japan controls largest foreign corporation but not the most.

Japan Controls Largest Foreign Corporation But Not The Most

Foreign companies have invested in everything from insurance to vanilla wafers in Arkansas.

Most of the foreign investments (84 percent) are in manufacturing facilities, according to figures from the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.

Investors from the Netherlands have interests in two Little Rock insurance firms, National Old Line Insurance Co. and Aegon USA Inc. Another insurance company with Little Rock operations, Sedgwick James of Arkansas Inc., is headquartered in London.

In North Little Rock, President Enterprises Corp., a company headquartered in Taiwan, bought the Jackson Cookie Co. in August 1990.

Which foreign countries hold interests in the most Arkansas firms? Which employ the most Arkansans?

Japan immediately comes to mind when talk turns to foreign corporations operating in the United States. The Japanese have invested in Rheem Manufacturing Co.'s Fort Smith air conditioning division. Ranked by number of employees, Rheem is the largest foreign corporation in the state with 1,800 workers.

Until recently, that distinction belonged to Vendex International of the Netherlands. The company owned about 25 percent of the stock in Dillard Department Stores, which has almost 3,000 employees in Arkansas. Vendex has since sold those interests.

With interests in 22 companies, investors from Great Britain control the most (24 percent) foreign-based Arkansas operations. The Japanese are second with interests in 14 companies (15 percent).

At least 93 Arkansas companies are controlled by foreign interests.

There are major Swedish investments in two firms, White Consolidated Industries' commercial refrigeration division at Conway and Poulan Weed Eater at Nashville. Employment at the two facilities totals 1,543, making the Swedish the second largest employer among the state's foreign investors.

Foreign interests are involved in some of Arkansas' top printing operations. Ringier America, the largest printing plant in the state with 550 employees at Jonesboro, is owned by a Swiss company. The third largest printing company, Transkrit Corp. of Fort Smith, is owned by a Canadian firm.
 Number Of
Country In Arkansas
Great Britain 22
Japan 14
Canada 13
Germany 7
Switzerland 5
Netherlands 5
France 5
Ireland 4
Belgium 3
Australia 3
Sweden 2
Italy 2
Luxembourg 2
Taiwan 2
Bermuda 1
Denmark 1
Finland 1
Singapore 1

Source: Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.

PHOTO : ROOM FOR INVESTMENT: The Arkansas Excelsior Hotel, the state's second largest, with 419 rooms and 380 employees, is owned by Japan Green Stamp Co.

Carolyn Gibson Arkansas Business Staff
COPYRIGHT 1991 Journal Publishing, Inc.
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Title Annotation:foreign investments in Arkansas
Author:Gibson, Carolyn
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 10, 1991
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