History and Heritage
Founded by Simon Fribourg in 1813, Continental Grain Company grew to be one of the largest privately-held companies in the world, building on a rich history of entrepreneurialism and pioneering. The Company was first established as a grain trading firm based in what is now known as Arlon, Belgium, and grew steadily over the next several decades, ultimately entering the flour milling business in the 1890s. The onset of World War I temporarily brought the Company to London, and the German invasion of France in 1940 resulted in the Company's and the Fribourg family's relocation to the United States. In 1944, the Company's headquarters were officially moved to New York City, where they remain to this day.
Throughout its history, Continental Grain Company has taken an active role in establishing valuable international relationships. In 1964, Continental Grain Company sold one million tons of wheat to the Soviet grain-purchasing agency Exportkhleb, constituting the first major U.S. grain sale to the Soviet Union, followed by an even larger sale in 1972 of 10 million tons of grain. Similarly, in 1979 the Company opened the first foreign-owned feed mill in China, in a joint venture with Charoen Pokphand. This new business transformed the Chinese feed industry and paved the way for the Company's further expansion into China.
In 1965, Continental Grain Company acquired 51% of Allied Mills, a major feed and fresh poultry producer, and this tradition of acquisition and investment continues to this day. In 2008, Continental Grain Company announced the formation of Arlon, a private investment group that invests the Company's permanent capital alongside select third-party capital across multiple strategies to create long-term value.
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