Can I please stop hearing the jabber and seeing the gibberish that identify companies as "public companies," or, "publicly held?" There’s no such thing, anymore than there’s such thing as "the public trust." Gobbledygook; floating abstractions.
They are publicly traded companies, meaning: that generally any member of the public may, if they so freely choose, buy and sell shares representing a fractional ownership of that company. They are not companies in which, literally, everyone owns a legitimate stake.