Sunday, December 4, 2016

More on the Kochs, the Saudi prince, and oil money seeping into Napa

                                                            The Private I
                                                          Nose correspondent                                                       
     I have an old Directory of Corporate Affiliations Private Companies publication, a rather thick book, from 1995. The Koch Brothers at that time listed First Chicago as their bank.  First Chicago Corp was an investment bank taking all of the major food (restaurants chains) franchises public, such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Long John Silver, Wendy's to name the most recognized among them.  International franchises for these operations spread many of the operations to Europe and Asia, even Russia with McDonald's, handled by First Chicago. And I noted the international franchises for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East were held by Prince Faisal.
   While I digress from the Koch Brothers with this drifting toward Arabia, one has to wonder just what Chicago interests have had to do with building and financing the Koch brothers holdings over the years, their common point with Al Faisal. And the Al Faisal family's ties to Chicago-related interests. And to Dallas. Oil and pipelines are the ties. And evidently development hopes for San Francisco Bay Area and specifically Napa County and its cities.
   The Prince I refer to is Khaled (Khalid in some articles) bin Abdullah bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz al Saud (aka HRH Khalid Al Faisal), a grandson of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.  Khalid was behind development of the Galleria in Houston, development of Sugarland, TX, and the Galleria project in Dallas as well. So he has both strong Chicago and Texas connections and at one time was involved in proposing projects for Napa County that included Soscol Ridge (rejected by voters by 84% "no") at the same time through another developer, a big donor to S.F. Mayor Willie Brown's campaign with an eye to developing the San Francisco waterfront (Piers 30 - 32) and Treasure Island that went nowhere in the 1990s, and nowhere twice again under Gavin Newsom as mayor of San Francisco. No foreign money without approval from Federal authorities is permitted on waterfronts.
   Oil or natural gas may be the common denominator between Koch and al Faisal and/or Chicago investment opportunities. Koch Industries, as listed in 1995, was founded in 1942 in Wichita, KN.  Business Description:  Oil & Gas Refining & Transportation by Pipeline. They also bought Computer systems/hardware wings from Burroughs A-15 and IBM System 34.
   Their subsidiaries then included filtering equipment, industrial burners, flares, boilers, incinerators, pollution control equipment, scrubber systems. Another corporation that had was Koch Engineering in Akron, OH, and Koch Supplies of Kansas City that makes and distributes packing machines and equipment for meat handling. Other things they manufacture/owned at the time are commercial kitchens, sausage makers, locker plants, food retailers, labs, and automated production lines.
   They have so much money it isn't unusual for them to consider a hotel project in St. Helena, CA, for example, together with another long-time Chicago family, John Pritzker of Hyatt Hotels fame. He sold his interests to siblings and has his own international hotel management company, Commune, which can't operate here without violating our General Plan, just like the other two proposals.
               (Next: St. Helena's ongoing assault by hoteliers)
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