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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 ?
The birth of Alphabet, Google's new holding company, prompted much talk of a conglomerate renaissance.
not all jurisdictions have in place a specific supervision framework for financial conglomerates or coordination agreements with other supervisors of financial conglomerates on a cross-sectoral level.
Seven out of the top-100 conglomerates saw a year-on-year growth in after-tax earnings in 2008, including Taiwan Cogeneration Group, Lee Chang Yung Group, Fubon Group, CTCI Group, Quanta Computer Group, Far Glory Group, and VIA Technologies Group.
I test two hypotheses in the article: first, when external capital is more costly at the aggregate level, the value of conglomerates increases relative to the value of focused firms; and second, such value increase is greater for those conglomerates that are more financially constrained in external capital markets.
For instance, when a financial conglomerate becomes aware that a corporate borrower of a bank under its umbrella has fallen into financial difficulties, the parent unit might have the borrower issue debentures through a securities firm, also under its umbrella, thus recovering the loaned money the affiliated bank has extended.
Faced with the option of radically altering the way they do business or paying lawyers to try prevent that day from coming, the nation's media conglomerates have chosen the latter.
But nothing is more distressing to the markets than concerns about its fundamental conglomerate strategy.
He recounts how ITT'S CEO Lyman Hamilton, successor to the legendary Harold Geneen, conceived of naming a sub-CEO to each of the large entities under ITT's umbrella, partly because he felt the company was becoming too vast for a single CEO to manage and partly to head off antitrust crusades by a federal government itching to restrain conglomerates.
Chip-making divisions at the three conglomerates have been hit hard by this year's information-technology slump and the global economic slowdown.