Family businesses across the world have been busy with sales and acquisitions recently – with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev and Portuguese cork-maker Corticeira Amorim in an acquisition mood, while the Mulliez and Rinehart families are considering selling some of their interests.
Belgium-based AB InBev is reportedly in discussions to buy the shares it doesn’t already own in fellow family business Grupo Modelo, the Mexican beer-maker that is behind brands such as Corona and Estrella.
AB Inbev, which is the world’s largest brewer by volume and produces beers like Stella Artois and Beck’s, already owns 50% of Modelo. The remaining shares are controlled by the descendents of the company’s founders, including the Fernandez and Aramburuzabala families.
In a joint statement issued on 25 June, the two companies said they have been in talks about “a possible transaction to expand [their] current relationship”, but added that “these discussions may or may not lead to a transaction”.
However, if the deal goes ahead, it will allow AB Inbev to increase its presence in the global beer market, as Modelo, which in 2011 had revenues of 91.2 billion Mexican pesos (€5.3 billion), is the world’s sixth biggest brewer by volume.
Meanwhile, French fashion retailer Kiabi, which is controlled by the Mulliez family, is looking to exit the Romanian market and sell the six stores it owns in the country, the company’s director, Yann Le Blay, told Bucharest-based media company Mediafax.
Kiabi saw revenues plummet in Romania in 2011, leading the Mulliez family, which also controls supermarket giant Auchan and sports retailer Decathlon, to decide to leave the country.
But the Mulliez family wasn’t the only one planning a sale this week. In Australia, Gina Reinhart, the country’s wealthiest person and the head of mining giant Hancock Prospecting, threatened to sell her 18.7% stake in media company Fairfax Media.
Reinhart is believed to have asked for three board seats and more editorial control within the company, which publishes newspapers such as the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
In a statement issued on 26 June, Hancock Prospecting said: "Unless director positions are offered without unsuitable condition, Rinehart is unable to assist Fairfax at this time ... [Hancock Prospecting] may hence sell its interest, and may consider repurchasing at some other time."
Meanwhile in Portugal, family-controlled cork producer Corticeira Amorim acquired a 90.9% stake in Trefinos, a Spanish manufacturer of champagne cork stoppers.
The Mozelos-based firm, which is controlled by the Amorim family and had revenues of €494.8 million in 2011, said on 20 June that it purchased the stake through its subsidiary Amorim & Irmaos for €15.1 million.
The family business, which traces its roots to the 19th century and claims to be the world’s largest cork producer by volume, added that Juan Ginesta, Trefinos’ sole director, will join Corticeira Amorim’s board.