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Posted: September 01, 2008

Top 250 private companies

CH2M Hill repeats as No. 1 in a field of time-tested firms

ColoradoBiz staff

Last year, Englewood-based engineering giant CH2M Hill took over the No. 1 spot in ColoradoBiz magazine’s Top 250 Private Companies ranking when former No. 1 Swift & Co. was bought by South American meat processor, JBS S.A. (Download the full list)

CH2M Hill retains that top spot this year, with revenues of $5.8 billion in 2007, a 29 percent increase over the previous year. The global engineering and construction firm also is the largest employer in the ranking with more than 23,000 full-time workers worldwide.

The No. 2 spot in the ranking also is unchanged, with Denver-based PCL Construction Enterprises posting revenues of $5 billion in 2007 for a 22 percent improvement.

Greeley-based Hensel Phelps Construction ranks third with revenues of $2.5 billion, an 18 percent gain.

he revenues used to rank the private companies are self-reported. Five of this year's top 10 firms improved revenues by at least 20 percent.

The top private firms have stood the test of time — and no doubt benefited from it. Five of the top 10 companies are at least 60 years old, with PCL Construction the most enduring among the top 10, at 102 years old. It's just one of five companies in the ranking at least a century old.

The oldest among the top 250, Frederick Ross Co., was founded in 1888 when Frederick Ross moved from Vermont to Denver in hopes of improving his failing health and launched the commercial real estate firm. Current company head John P. Box is only the fourth president in the firm's 120-year history.

Other ranked companies that have been around at least a century are Johnson Storage & Moving Co. Holdings LLC (108), and Eaton-based agricultural cooperative Agland and Denver-based Van Gilder Insurance, both in their 103rd year.

Companies in the ranking hail from 38 cities, with Denver leading the way with 104 companies.

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