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A firm engaged in two or more unrelated businesses.


A corporation that runs and manages many, unrelated businesses. The businesses are in different industries and generally have nothing at all to do with each other in terms of what products are produced. The theory behind a conglomerate states that the individual businesses can be managed at lower cost because they are able to pool resources while also reducing risks inherent to any particular industry. Conglomerates are not as popular in the United States as they once were because some became so complex, they were impossible to operate. See also: Keiretsu, Chaebol.


A company engaged in varied business operations, many of which seem unrelated. A conglomerate is designed to have reduced risk, since its various operations are affected differently by business conditions over time. In addition, it is possible for a conglomerate to redistribute its corporate assets depending on which operations show the most promise. Conglomerates were popular among investors during the 1960s but investors' interest in them faded during the 1970s and the 1980s.


A conglomerate is a corporation whose multiple business units operate in different, often unrelated, areas.

A conglomerate is generally formed when one company expands by acquiring other firms, which it brings together under a single management umbrella.

In some, but not all, cases, the formerly independent elements of the conglomerate retain their brand identities, though they are responsible to the conglomerate's management.

Some conglomerates are successful, with different parts of the whole contributing the lion's share of the profits in different phases of the economic cycle, offsetting weaker performance by other units.

Other conglomerates are never able to meld the parts into a functioning whole. In those cases, the parent company may sell or spin off various divisions into new independent companies.

References in periodicals archive ?
Sexton's persistent courting of strange adjacencies was also on show in The Michael Stickrod Experience, 2005, a bewildering conglomeration whose materials ran to steel, glass, wood, aluminum, foam, leather, tequila, car doors, and paint, not to mention a "custom Michael Stickrod Experience T-shirt," a Discman playing Hall and Oates's "Private Eyes," and a masseuse.
Many who never bother to verbalize these opinions nevertheless bear children with first one person and then another, creating by their own choices unwieldy, fractured, and complicated conglomerations of children, stepchildren, stepparents, step grandparents, half-brothers, half-sisters, second and third fathers and mothers, as if believing this discontinuity were a better way to arrange a life.
Hanlon attempts to compensate for the weakness of his data by first making the case for the similarity of Layrac to larger urban conglomerations in the region, then arguing from the dynamics occurring in these cities back to what must also be happening in Layrac.
The hottest trend in real estate development these days is a reversion to a 2,000-year-old European system: the re-evolution of cities and suburban areas as conglomerations of small towns.
In learning how to design reefs, scientists in the United States and elsewhere have much to learn from the Japanese, who have invested billions of dollars in the development of reefs -- all of which are specially designed and built from materials like concrete and fiberglass rather than from conglomerations of abandoned objects -- for commercial fishing.