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The notoriety of the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch as political contributors tends to obscure their mostly self-effacing but hugely important company. Koch Industries generates $115 billion in annual revenue in businesses ranging from oil and gas to agriculture, materials, and paper towels. It has used its freedom from the pressures of public markets to make astute long-term bets. For instance, it became a global agribusiness player over a decade via under-the-radar investments; it picked up electronics components manufacturer Molex for $7.2 billion in 2013, anticipating a boom in the Internet of things; and seeing a future of water shortages, Koch has been exploring technologies such as desalination.

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Charles Koch
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