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  7. Can you Buy Cargill Stock? What You Need to Know!

Can you Buy Cargill Stock? What You Need to Know!

  • By Jenna Gleespen
  • Sep 19, 2022

Cargill stock could be an excellent option for investors looking to add agriculture to their portfolios. But can you buy or sell shares of Cargill? Get the full scoop on investing in Cargill and some competitor stocks to keep an eye on.

Can You Buy Cargill Stock? 

You cannot invest in Cargill stock through traditional means, as it’s a privately held company. Until this changes, you won’t see a Cargill symbol, ticker, or stock price on any major exchanges. There is a way to get your hands on shares of Cargill, though (more on that later).

While that’s a bit of a bummer that Cargill stocks aren’t publicly traded, the good news is that there are plenty of competitors worth investing in. We’ve assembled alternative investments to Cargill stock.

Also, Cargill is a fascinating company, so we’ll give a rundown of its operations and history so you get a sense of why so many folks want to invest in it.

Keep reading for more information on Cargill, as well as its competitors.

Cargill stock

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What Is Cargill? 

Cargill, Inc. is a global leader in the agricultural business. The company was founded by William Cargill in 1865. It offers a wide range of food, industrial, food processing, and livestock ingredients, as well as agricultural commodities.

The company’s massive size allows it to operate in various markets.

These include food distribution, food processing, food ingredients, and other food market ventures. As stated, Cargill is the largest privately held company in the United States.

It has a global reach and touches almost every sector of the food industry — from crop production to high-tech animal feed, and from meat processing to food ingredients.

Cargill is also one of the world’s largest processors of ground grains and refined oils, such as palm oil. It has been around for 150 years and employs 155,000 people across 70 countries.

cargill stock

Since 1986, Cargill has ranked among the Forbes list of wealthiest companies for all but two years.

But following financial hardship after the Civil War, family member John MacMillan pulled the company out of debt. Today, the same tenacity is responsible for helping keep Cargill a leader in its industries.

One of the world’s highest revenue-producing companies, Cargill is known for its huge assets and charitable trusts. After selling the Mosaic Company, Cargill donated Mosaic shares that totaled more than $6 billion.

As a family-owned business, 23 Cargill-MacMillan family shareholders own 88% of the company.

However, many non-family member shareholders repeatedly express a desire to take the company public. Those eager to invest would love nothing more than to see this happen.

mighty earth stock

Cargill Controversy (Mighty Earth)

There has been some pushback against Cargill’s business practices. In fact, the environmental campaign company, Mighty Earth, named Cargill the “Worst Company in the World” in 2019.

Mighty Earth claims that Cargill needs to improve its business practices to ensure safer, cleaner operations. Many of its concerns stem from Cargill’s staggering size.

Mighty Earth has spoken to Cargill’s CEO about its concerns. But at present, it doesn’t appear that any changes have been made. It’s also important to keep in mind that the term “worst company in the world” is a subjective label.

Some companies are worse than others, depending on who you ask and their own personal interests. Furthermore, it doesn’t appear that the claims made by Mighty Earth have discouraged interest from potential investors.

There is still plenty of outside interest to purchase stocks in the company.

can you buy Cargill stock

Who Is Cargill’s CEO?

David W. McLennan was appointed chairman and CEO of Cargill back in 2013. He’s held this position for close to a decade, and the company seems pleased with his current performance. McLennan is the 9th CEO Cargill has had since its founding.

Now that you know more about Cargill, its products, leadership, and controversies, let’s take a look at a way you might be able to invest in the company before an IPO.

We’ll also speculate on what the stock might look like if there was a bona fide Cargill initial public offering. 

How to Invest in Cargill Stock?

There are two ways that you could own stock in Cargill pre-IPO. One is currently possible, the other could happen in the future.

The first way you can own a share of the company is through its employee stock plan (ESOP). If you work at Cargill, you can have your 401(K) matched in Cargill stock. This isn’t the same as letting you buy stocks of Cargill, but it’s an option.

There is one more option, though…

Fair warning, this is a bit of a long shot.

Many private companies have shares up for grabs on the private market or pre-IPO market. Some companies that provide a private market for pre-IPO shares are Linqto (review), EquityZen, and Forge Global.

We checked, and we couldn’t find Cargill stock on either of these sites. The company doesn’t need the help, so it will probably stay this way.

Another caveat is that if Cargill shares are listed on a private market, you’ll need to be an accredited investor to get a piece of the action.

can you buy Cargill stock

Cargill IPO Date 

Right now, there’s no news on a Cargill stock initial public offering (IPO).

Cargill stockholders have continually pushed over the years for an initial public offering (IPO). For most companies, the pressure from stockholders would likely be enough to turn the tide in their favor.

But because of the company’s size, Cargill has been able to avoid an IPO.

It’s been able to achieve this largely by staying a family-owned business. And since that accounts for 88% of the company, the family has total control and say on the matter.

If you look at any of Cargill’s public financials, it’s clear that they don’t need the extra help.

Cargill Stock Symbol 

As mentioned above, Cargill is not a publicly traded company, so it does not have a stock symbol or ticker. We could know ahead of a Cargill IPO if the company ever submits an S-1 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Some solid tickers that Cargill could use if it enters the public market are CRGIL or CGIL.

cargill stock price

Cargill Stock Price 

Since Cargill isn’t a public company and therefore doesn’t have stock, the best we can do is guesstimate what it could be. If Cargill ever goes public, its shares might sell for about $30 to $100 if you average out its competitors’ stock prices.

The company’s private shareholders would like nothing more than to see this come to fruition.

But there are perks to being the largest private company, and it appears things are going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Cargill Competitors You Can Invest In

Since you can’t currently buy or trade Cargill stock, you might be interested in investing in some of its competitors.

Below, we look into some publicly traded companies that present the biggest threat to Cargill.

Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) 

Bunge Limited is an agribusiness located in the US.

Its annual revenue from 2020 was $40+ billion — not too shabby. That being said, Bunge did run into some growth issues between 2017 and 2020.

But in March 2020, Bunge proved its resiliency and improved its business and earnings.

Cargill stock

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) 

The Archer-Daniels-Midland Company has a story eerily similar to Bunge’s.

Its stock plummeted in the years leading up to March 2020. The Archer-Daniels-Midland Company earned an average of $64 billion annually between 2018 and 2020.

But once the pandemic hit, things turned around. In 2021, the agricultural commodities trading company made profits of more than $21 billion.

buy Cargill stock

The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDE) 

The Andersons, Inc. is another American company in the agricultural industry. Andersons is one of the largest fertilizer companies, with a strong presence in livestock and agriculture.

It’s also actively involved in grain exports and other grain-centered industries. The Ohio-based company remained successful throughout the pandemic, averaging an annual revenue of more than $8 billion.

Cargill stock

Wait for a Cargill Stock IPO? 

You could wait for a Cargill IPO, but there are so many agricultural companies that are publicly traded on the stock market. However, if Cargill ever enters the public markets and sells shares, it could be a solid company to invest in.

For now, total control lies with the Cargill-MacMillan family. And this doesn’t look to be changing anytime in the near future.

The financial success alone could be enough to convince investors that the company is one to invest in.

So if you ever see stocks available from Cargill, you might want to consider picking up some shares if it meets your investment objectives.

Cargill Stock: Final Thoughts

Because Cargill is one of the largest private companies and wealthiest food empires, it only makes sense that some people both inside and outside the company want it to trade publicly.

Unfortunately, you can’t get a hold of Cargill stocks, unless you can access its employee stock plan.

There’s the pre-IPO market, but that is a big if.

For now, you’ll have to opt for Cargill’s competitors, such as Bunge or Archer-Daniels-Midland.


Cargill Stock FAQ and Recap

What Companies Does Cargill Own?

Cargill has quite a few companies under its umbrella, including Truvia, Ocean Transportation, Cotton, Diamond Crystal Salt, Cocoa & Chocolate, and more. As you can see, Cargill has quite a few businesses under its umbrella, many of which are very successful.

Is Cargill an FMCG Company? 

Yes, Cargill operates certain parts of its business as an FMCG, or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods. This is one of the main reasons for Cargill’s success: it can quickly provide affordable products. That said, Cargill’s other business operations remain commodity-driven.

How Much Is Cargill Worth? 

Cargill Inc’s net worth is not publicly available, and the estimates are all over the place. The best number we have is that Business Insider ranked the Cargill-MacMillion family as the fourth wealthiest US family. They then went on to estimate that the Family’s net worth was in the ballpark of $38.8 billion. 

Cargill Revenue 

Cargill’s annual revenue for 2018 amounted to $114 billion. In 2021, the company’s revenue rose to $134.4 billion. Interestingly, Cargill halted any further public reporting of its revenue in 2021. As such, there isn’t any current data beyond this point. Private companies are not required to disclose this information.

Who Is Cargill’s Biggest Competitor?

Cargill has many competitors that include Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM), The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDE), and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM). There are a few more that didn’t make our shortlist, such as Ingredion Inc (NYSE: INGR) and COFCO Joycome Foods Ltd (1610: Hong Kong).


Jenna Gleespen is a published author and copywriter specializing in personal and investment finance. Her expertise is in financial product reviews and stock market education.