The Financial Times has published an interesting list of the world's top 150 privately held companies.
Dominant sectors are 1) oil & gas (13 out of top 18), and 2) financial services companies in a broad sense including private equity, banking, insurance, asset management, and auditing (65 out of 160).
The list was assembled with the help of McKinsey & Co., which a) as a partnership is being privately held itself, and b) is not on the list. McKinsey must thus be worth less than the US$ 9 bn which qualifies for a spot on the list?
Moreover, Japan Post is estimated to be worth US$ 156 bn, whereas the two equivalent companies from countries a third of the size of Japan, La Poste (France) and Poste Italiane are worth respectively 15 and 13 bn. Can that be true -- why this enormous discrepancy?