Iconic American companies that aren't in America anymore

In the ever-globalizing world, some of America's most iconic companies have shifted their headquarters, primary operations, or manufacturing beyond our borders. 

This phenomenon, often driven by tax benefits, mergers, or acquisitions, reflects the complexities of the modern global economy. Here’s a look at a few notable examples of American companies that now call another country home.


Tupperware Brands announced this month that it's shuttering its last remaining manufacturing plant in the U.S. and moving operations to Mexico, costing more than 100 workers their jobs. The company, which will retain its Orlando headquarters, says it sold the Hemingway, S.C. plant last year and plans to transition operations to Lerma, Mexico, noting that most of its famous storage products sold in the U.S. and Canada are already made at that plant.

Burger King

In 2014, Burger King merged with the Canadian coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons, forming Restaurant Brands International. This move relocated the company’s headquarters to Canada, primarily for tax benefits. Despite this, Burger King remains a quintessential American fast-food brand.


Known as the "King of Beers," Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, was acquired by Belgian company InBev in 2008. The resulting entity, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is now one of the world’s largest brewers, though Budweiser continues to be brewed in the U.S.


Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, an American staple in the automotive industry, was acquired by the Japanese company Bridgestone in 1988. Bridgestone Firestone now operates out of Tokyo, but Firestone remains a well-known brand in the United States.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s, the beloved Vermont-based ice cream brand, was bought by the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever in 2000. The company still operates its original factory in Vermont and maintains its commitment to social and environmental causes, despite its international ownership.


Originally established in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven is now owned by the Japanese company Seven & I Holdings Co. This acquisition in 2005 expanded the convenience store chain’s global footprint, making it a familiar sight in many countries worldwide.

Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer and processor, was acquired by the Chinese company WH Group in 2013. Despite concerns over foreign ownership, Smithfield continues to operate many facilities in the United States, maintaining its significant role in American agriculture.

IBM's PC business

IBM, once the leader in the personal computer market, sold its PC division to the Chinese company Lenovo in 2005. This move allowed Lenovo to become a major player in the global PC market while IBM shifted its focus to software and services.

AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the world, was acquired by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2012. This acquisition marked a significant expansion of Wanda’s entertainment holdings globally.

General Electric appliances

General Electric sold its appliance division to the Chinese company Haier in 2016. Haier’s acquisition of GE Appliances was part of its strategy to expand its footprint in the U.S. market. 

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s, the quirky American grocery chain, is owned by the German family trust Markus Stiftung, which also owns the Aldi Nord chain. The trust acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979, helping the store expand across the United States while maintaining its unique identity.

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn, one of America’s most iconic hotel chains, was acquired by the British company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 1988. Holiday Inn remains a staple of American travel and hospitality InterContinental Hotels Group despite its British ownership.


Hoover, the vacuum manufacturing giant, traces its roots to 1908 when W.H. "Boss" Hoover, owner of a leather goods manufacturing shop, bought a "suction sweeper" patent from Murray Spangler and retained him as a partner. In 2007, the company was purchased by Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., but Hoover still maintains a U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sunglass Hut

Sunglass Hut, originally founded in Miami, Florida, was acquired by the Italian eyewear giant Luxottica Group in 2001. Luxottica’s ownership has expanded Sunglass Hut’s presence globally while retaining its status as a go-to retailer for fashionable eyewear.