Maine again misses making Fortune 500, but gets close

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This year’s Fortune 500 list has just been released, and while the prestigious ranking doesn’t include any Maine companies, that’s trending to change in the near future.

The list, published annually by Fortune magazine since 1955, ranks the 500 largest U.S. corporations by revenue. Over the years, Maine-based businesses have made the cut, but not in more than a decade.

However, Covetrus Inc. (Nasdaq: CVET) came close this year. The Portland company placed No. 593 in its first ranking by Fortune.

(For the past few years, the magazine has listed the 1,000 largest companies by revenue, although only the top half of that group comprise the Fortune 500.)

Covetrus, which provides animal health technology and services, was formed in 2019 by the merger of Portland startup Vets First Choice with a division of Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein Inc. In 2020, Covetrus reported net sales of $4.3 billion, a 9% increase over the combined revenue of the two businesses in 2019.

Another animal health company, Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), is also approaching the elite 500.

IDEXX ranked No. 800 this year with revenue of $2.7 billion. The company ranked No. 887 in 2020, up from No. 929 in 2019 and No. 961 in 2018. Last month, IDEXX raised its 2021 revenue guidance to nearly $3.2 billion.

Not all of the historical lists are now available, but Maine appears to have last made the Fortune 500 in 2006, when Energy East Corp. ranked No. 405.

Longtime Maine business Unum and Scarborough-based Hannaford Supermarkets were perennial members of the list in the 1990s. But Hannaford was acquired by European conglomerate Delhaize Group (now Ahold Delhaize) in 2000 and Unum (now known as Unum Group) moved headquarters to Tennessee in 2002.

A total of 27 New England companies made this year’s Fortune 500. Ten are headquartered in Connecticut, 10 in Massachusetts and seven in Rhode Island.

While it hasn’t cracked the Fortune 500, another Maine company, WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) has made the magazine’s list of the 100 fastest-growing public companies. The Portland-based financial technology company ranked No. 72 in 2019.

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