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Family business round up: 21st Century Fox, Saudi Binladin, Faribault Foods and Brady Corporation

Murdoch backs down on Time Warner, Bin Laden family buys Renaissance marble quarry, Faribault Foods sells just shy of centenary, Brady Corporation names new CEO

Murdoch backs down on Time Warner, Bin Laden family buys Renaissance marble quarry, Faribault Foods sells just shy of centenary, Brady Corporation names new CEO

21st Century Fox withdraws bid for Time Warner

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has withdrawn its €59 billion bid to acquire Time Warner after the American multinational refused to engage with the deal. 

The merger would have consolidated HBO, CNN and Fox News and reduced costs for the combined company by up to $1 billion, mainly by cutting staff and administration costs.

Media reports speculated that the bid for Time Warner would have been the last big deal in the octogenarian’s lengthy career.  

Murdoch is known for rarely giving up without a fight, making the withdrawal of the offer, which many believed was simply an opening gambit, surprising.

Time Warner said in a statement that it believed it would continue to succeed alone. "Time Warner is well positioned for success with our iconic assets, including the world’s leading premium television brand and film studio.”

Shares at 21st Century Fox rose sharply after the bid was withdrawn, while shares in Time Warner fell by 11%. 

Bin Laden family buys Renaissance marble quarry

The Bin Laden family has signed a €45 million deal to purchase a 50% stake in the Marmi Carrara quarry, famous for providing the prized blue-grey mineral that has provided marble for Michelangelo’s statue of David, London’s Marble Arch and the Siena Cathedral.

The Saudi family, whose estranged second-gen Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks on the US and who the group has sought to distance themselves from, bought out four local families in the deal.

Saudi Binladin Group grossed €1.49 billion last year and is already a regular customer at the mine, purchasing 20% of its output last year for €40 million.

The Bin Laden family already owns 26 marble quarries across the globe, which it uses to build mosques in Mecca, having being awarded a contract by the Saudi royal family in the 1950s. Their construction company is the third largest in the world.

Faribault Foods sells just shy of 100 years

Family-owned Faribault Foods, best known for their canned beans and corn kernels, has sold to privately-owned Mexican food company, bringing to an end 97 years of family ownership.

Mexican La Costeña’s Tucson, itself a family-owned company, has bought Faribault Foods, owned by the Vandever and MacDonald families since 1917.

All of Faribault Foods’ employees and facilities will be retained under La Costena, with around 700 employees now working across two plants. Branding will also be kept under the deal.

Reid MacDonald, Faribault’s fourth-gen CEO, said the merged company has a lot of potential for growth, adding that he plans to continue on at the company in an advisory role.

Faribault Foods was established in 1895 and has recently made a number of expansion bids, including the construction of a 100,000 sq ft facility in 2014, making the new facility one of the largest in the city.

“We believe that this partnership represents a significant opportunity for our companies, employees, customers and the communities where we do business. We are excited to accelerate the new organization’s growth,” MacDonald said.

Brady Corporation names J Michael Nauman CEO

Global manufacturer Brady Corporation, controlled by the eponymous family, has announced the appointment of J Michael Nauman as president, chief executive officer and director.

Nauman joins Brady after 20 years in senior management positions at Molex Corporation, having spent the last five years working as vice president of global integrated products at the Illinois-based company.

"I've dedicated the past two decades to a family-controlled public company with Midwestern roots and values similar to Brady. Both companies share a global perspective and footprint and take great pride in their histories. I am both motivated and energized to be a part of the Brady family," Nauman said.

Founded in 1914, the Brady Corporation has business interests in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, medical and a variety of other industries and posted revenues of $1.15 billion in 2013.

Shortly before Nauman accepted the position Molex was acquired by Koch Industries, the US company owned by the eponymous family, known largely for their controversial funding of political campaigns.

Nauman replaces interim CEO Thomas Felmer, who took over when Frank Jaehnert retired in October.


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