By Brandon Sawyer
It may not be robust, but Oregon’s top privately held companies seem to be experiencing recovery. Average annual revenue for 2011’s top 150 grew 7.7% to $213.4 million. Total revenue was $32.0 billion versus $29.7 billion last year, well short of the $39.8 billion from three years ago, but an improvement nonetheless. Companies with more than a billion in revenue increased to five this year from just two in 2010. In terms of jobs, the Private 150 employ 49,521 in Oregon, or an average of 330 per company. Worldwide they employ 136,821 for an average of 912 per company.
Many private companies keep their revenue, employment and other information under wraps, so there are some big companies missing from our list, making the statistics more hunch than hard fact. Yet many companies that we’ve never listed, or who declined to participate last year, decided to be included this time. Among them are: early childhood education provider Knowledge Universe-U.S., No. 2; regional beverage distributor Columbia Distributing Co., No. 13; Stimson Lumber Co., No. 19; and high-end optical scope maker, Leupold & Stevens, No. 39. In total, 23 companies were not listed last year.
For true longevity, lumber manufacturer Collins Companies, No. 53, remains the oldest, founded in 1855, closely followed by Stimson Lumber, established 1860. Among the youngest companies on the list are microporous membrane maker, Membrane Holdings, No. 45; distressed-home reseller Gorilla Capital, No. 127; footwear designer, KEEN, No. 38; and online search optimizer, G5, No. 150. Leadership at the Private 150 is still overwhelmingly male. Only four companies listed women as the top executive: R2C Group, No. 23; Consolidated Supply, No. 63; Powell’s Books, No. 98; and Bullivant Houser Bailey, No. 105.