(丸紅), the 25th largest corporation
in the world, is a Japanese keiretsu
that makes a wide variety of products, including:
You get the picture. Marubeni has 31,000 employee
s and annual revenues of $72 billion: they are headquartered in Chiyoda
Ward of Tokyo
The company was founded by Shiga linen dealer Ito Chubei in 1858, as a single shop in Osaka. Over the next decades, Ito's chain of stores, now known as C. Itoh Trading Co., would grow into a small business empire that would eventually spin off two of Japan's largest keiretsu today, Marubeni and Itochu. Today's Marubeni had its birth in 1949, when Japanese companies were permitted to resume import/export operations: like Mitsui, Marubeni found a niche in acting as a go-between for Japanese and foreign companies trying to enter each other's business spheres. This is still the core of their business philosophy today.
However, like other keiretsu, Marubeni's fortunes in the post-bubble economy period have been sporadic at best. They are currently unprofitable, and slowly losing ground to more focused corporations both at home and overseas.