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You might be forgiven for thinking that family values have become less important to today's big business.

Yet some of the world's most famous companies and brands – a few more than a century old – have remained under the control of the families that founded them.

CNBC takes a look at nine of the biggest family brands, and charts their history from small concerns to global powerhouses.

By Anmar Frangoul, special to CNBC.com

Kristy Sparow | WireImage | Getty Images