The privately-owned meat processing company OSI Industries is currently ranked on the Forbes List as one of the most profitable and successful private companies globally.
OSI Industries was founded in Oakwood, IL in 1909 by German immigrant Otto Kolschowski. By 1917, he was able to expand his company and move his company to Maywood. By 1928, the company became known as Otto and Sons. Over several year, Otto and Sons earned the reputation as one of the best established meat companies in the state.
As Otto and Sons continued to grow, they were able to secure a deal that had a direct impact on the company’s future. As it turns out, future McDonald’s restaurants owner Ray Krok launched his own family-style restaurant in Des Plaines, IL. He would need a meat provider for his business and entered a hand-shake deal with Otto and Sons. Find out more about of OSI at Craft
Otto and Sons son became the sole provider of meat products for all Midwest McDonalds restaurants. As McDonalds grew, so did the fortunes of OSI Group.
By the late 1960s, OSI Industries was on the cutting edge of new manufacturing technology. The company developed the revolutionary cryogenic freezing, which freezes meat with nitrogen. The company was also looking into expanding internationally.
In the early 1970s, financial banker Sheldon Lavin was hired by the Kolschowski brothers to oversee the international financing. So impressed with his work, the brothers offered him partnership. Lavin initially turned it down, but after the brothers were set to retire, he reconsidered.
Lavin was brought on board and bought out the brothers’ controlling interest. Under Lavin’s leadership, OSI Industries expanded into a number of international territories. The company now has 20,000 employees in 17 countries.
They have acquired a number of companies over the years including Baho Foods and Moy Park.
Today, the company has a net worth of $6.1 billion.