Corporations: Levi's Gold Rush

In an era of acquisitive conglomerates and breathless corporate mergers, San Francisco's Levi Strauss & Co. is something of an anomaly. It is a privately owned, family-controlled company that has become successful almost entirely by internal expansion. Just how successful became known only last week. Issuing the first public financial report in its 119-year history, the behemoth of blue jeans announced that it earned $12.1 million in 1968 on sales of $196.8 million. That record makes it one of the nation's half-dozen biggest apparel manufacturers.

The disclosure was prompted by a Securities and Exchange Commission requirement that large privately held firms...

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