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In September, major U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods was purchased by Chinese holding company Shanghui International Holdings for $4.7 billion. The deal represents the largest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese entity. Of course, it isn't the first major U.S. brand to be acquired by a foreign operation.

Established American brands are extremely valuable to foreign companies. Building a reputation in this country, which is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, can take decades, if it can be done at all. Many of America's most well-known names have been around since the 19th century.24/7 Wall St.examined 10 famous brands founded in the U.S. that are no longer owned by American companies.

Many of these brands are not just iconic American names because they were founded and developed in the U.S., but also because they marketed themselves over the years as American. Budweiser beer, introduced by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis in 1876, is the most widely known American beer brand. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev. The company continues to market Budweiser as American, and even introduced an "American Ale" the same year, although that line has been discontinued.

Nearly all of these brands were purchased by an international conglomerate with large and diversified brand portfolios. Notably, Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever has purchased several of the iconic brands on this list, including Hellmann's and Good Humor.

These are 10 classic American brands that are foreign-owned.

1. Lucky Strike
• Founded: 1871
• Sector: Tobacco
• Current parent company: British American Tobacco
• Currently headquartered: England

The Lucky Strike Cigarettes company was founded in Virginia in 1871. At the turn of the century, American Tobacco Co. acquired the brand. The North Carolina-based company was one of the first to implement cigarette-manufacturing machines. During their heyday, through the first half of the 20th century, Lucky Strike was one of the top-selling tobacco brands, and was the No. 1 cigarette in the country by the 1930s. While sales have fallen since then, the brand has seen a modest resurgence lately due in part to the use of the cigarettes in the popular TV dramatic series "Mad Men." In 1994, U.K.-based British American Tobacco acquired the American Tobacco Co. and its subsidiaries.

2. Budweiser
• Founded: 1852
• Sector: Beverages
• Current parent company: Anheuser-Busch Inbev
• Currently headquartered: Belgium

Iconic American lager Budweiser was developed in 1876 by Adolphus Busch - son-in-law of German immigrant Eberhard Anheuser - and his friend Carl Conrad. It was the first American brewery to use pasteurization, allowing the company to ship the beer over large distances and reach a wider audience. Over the years, Budweiser became America's best-selling beer prompting the company to adopt the slogan: "The King of Beers." In 2008, Brazilian-Belgian company InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch Cos. for roughly $52 billion. Budweiser remains the top-selling beer brand in the U.S., with 2012 Bud Light sales close to $6 billion in 2012, more than any other brand, according to market research firm SymphonyIRI Group.

3. Vaseline
• Founded: 1876
• Sector: Skin Products
• Current parent company: Unilever
• Currently headquartered: England

Brooklyn chemist Robert A. Chesebrough developed petroleum jelly in 1870 from what was then considered a waste product from oil drilling. The substance can be used to treat injuries such as burns, cuts, and diaper rash. Chesebrough began marketing it as Vaseline in 1870, and it wasn't long before the brand became the most popular petroleum jelly product nationwide. By the early 20th century Chesebrough Manufacturing Co. was selling and manufacturing its product internationally. Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Vaseline in 1987.

4. Good Humor
• Founded: 1923
• Category: Ice cream
• Current parent company: Unilever
• Currently headquartered: England

In 1923, Harry B. Burt of Youngstown, Ohio, patented his new method of making frozen confections - freezing ice cream bars to wooden handles and coating them in a hard chocolate layer. According to Burt, the value of the new process was in its sanitation and cleanliness. Instead of opening a store to sell his new Good Humor bars, Burt organized a fleet of ice-cream trucks with bells and carefully trained white-clad salesmen. When its founder died in 1926, the company went public and successfully expanded across much of the U.S. Unilever subsidiary Lipton purchased Good Humor in 1961.

5. Hellmann's
• Founded: 1913
• Sector: Condiments
• Current parent company: Unilever
• Currently headquartered: England

Capitalizing on his wife's popular mayonnaise recipe, German immigrant Richard Hellmann founded Hellmann's delicatessen over 100 years ago in New York City. In 1932, West Coast mayonnaise competitor Best Foods acquired Hellmann's. By that time, Hellmann's was flourishing and had already expanded across much of the East Coast, introducing new condiments including its Tartar Sauce and Sandwich Spread, a combination of relish and mayonnaise. In 2000, Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Best Foods and its subsidiaries. The company claims Best Food and Hellmann's mayonnaise, which are sold on the West and East coasts respectively, are identical products.

6. Purina
• Founded: 1894
• Sector: Pet food
• Current parent company: Nestle
• Currently headquartered: Switzerland

Founded in St. Louis in 1894 by William H. Danforth, George Robinson and William Andrews, the original Purina company was initially known for its wheat cereal. Company president Danforth revolutionized the production of pet food by producing animal feeds in pellet form and renamed the company Ralston Purina. General Mills acquired Ralston's cereal business in 1997. Swiss multinational food manufacturer Nestle merged with Ralston Purina Co. in December 2001, creating a new division, Nestle Purina PetCare.

7. French's
• Founded: 1876
• Sector: Condiments
• Current parent company: Reckitt Benckiser
• Currently headquartered: England

Francis French, co-owner of R.T. French Co., expanded his father's spice business to include a prepared mustard spread, which in general was not commercially available in 1904. Since its introduction at that year's World's Fair in St. Louis, French's mustard has become an American staple. According to the company, French's can be found in roughly 36% of all U.S. households. The company was acquired by a foreign entity early in its history. In 1926, J&J Colman, based in the U.K., purchased French's for $3.8 million. Now, after two additional mergers, French's is controlled by U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser.

8. Frigidaire
• Founded: 1918
• Cateogry: Appliances
• Current parent company: AB Electrolux
• Currently headquartered: Sweden

The Guardian Frigerator Co. was founded in 1916 to manufacture the newly developed electric refrigerating units. Prior to the invention, consumers generally kept their food cold with ice boxes. Compression-driven air conditioning was a novel concept. General Motors purchased the refrigerator manufacturer just two years later, naming it Frigidaire. Over the following few decades, General Motors often competed with Kelvinator and General Electric for top share in the new lucrative refrigeration market. In 1979, White Consolidated Industries, also an American company, acquired Frigidaire. Seven years later, however, the company changed hands again when it was acquired by multinational Swedish appliance manufacturer AB Electrolux.

9. Popsicle
• Founded: 1923
• Product: Ice cream
• Current parent company: Unilever
• Currently headquartered: England

Popsicle, touted as an "American classic," began by accident when 11-year old Frank Epperson left a stick in a cup of soda outside in freezing temperatures in 1905. Epperson sold the product to the Popsicle Corporation, and the frozen fruit juice on a stick was on its way to becoming an American icon. Following complicated legal battles between the ice pop company and ice cream manufacturer Good Humor over the definition of ice cream, Good Humor acquired Popsicle in 1989. Eventually, Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever acquired Good Humor and its subsidiaries.

10. 7-Eleven
• Founded: 1946
• Product: Convenience stores
• Current parent company: Seven & I Holdings
• Currently headquartered: Japan

7-Eleven, aptly-named for its extended hours, was one of the first convenience retailers. Jefferson Green, an employee at Dallas, Tex.-based Southland Ice Co., began offering milk, bread, and eggs at one of Southland's ice houses in 1927. As the ice houses grew in popularity, they became convenience outlets and came to be known as Tote'm stores, because "customers 'toted' away their purchases." It was not until 1946 that the stores changed their name to 7-Eleven. Today, 7-Eleven is the world's largest convenience store franchisor. In 2005, Seven-Eleven Japan completed its purchase of 7-Eleven, Inc, becoming Seven & I Holdings, Co. Ltd.

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