Cui Bono?

My wife and I were discussing the Target restroom dust up this morning, and we were both surprised at the estimated financial impact the boycott was having. Both of wondered if the financial hit had gotten the attention of the ownership. Which led to the question, “Who owns Target?”

The answer surprised me. I typed “Who owns Target Corporation?” into the Google search engine. (“Google” is not, never has been, and will never be, a proper verb, for me. I don’t care what Webster says. Google has too much power as it is.) Here is a part of the screen capture:

Google Search Results

Look at the bottom of the capture, under Parent Organizations. Dayton’s is a Minnesota based department store,and Dayton-Hudson is a Michigan based department store (originally Hudson’s).  Dayton and Hudson merged in the late 70’s to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, later re-named Target Corporation. The third parent organization is the source of my surprise: Harmony Gold, a South African gold mining operation. The second leading discount store retailer in the United States is a subsidiary of a South African gold mine? If true, perhaps Target would have the financial wherewithal to weather the scatological storm they have started.

I have started to dig into this relationship to see how deep it goes. Harmony could be a minority investor with only a few percent ownership. Their investor relations brochure does not indicate ownership of the Target chain, so I think this may take awhile. Stay tuned.