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Family Business Roundup: Antofagasta, Nakumatt, Takata and BMW

Antofagasta appoints Codelco veteran as new mining executive;Nakumatt retail chain plans strategic partnership in Kenya Nakumatt, the largest retail chain in East Africa by number of outlets; Japanese airbag maker refuses regulator recall demands; and BMW launches car sharing scheme in London

Family Business Roundup: Antofagasta, Nakumatt, Takata and BMW

Antofagasta appoints Codelco veteran as new mining executive

Chilean firm Antofagasta, controlled by the Luksic family, has appointed a new chief executive to head its mineral unit.

The family-run firm said Ivan Arriagada Herrera, 51, would take up the appointment in Feburary. He currently works at state-owned competitor Codelco. 

Local reports suggest that Herrera’s appointment puts him in line to succeed Diego Hernandez as the group’s chief executive. Hernandez took on the role in August 2013, after family member Jean-Paul Luksic stepped back from his role as executive chairman.

Last year, Antofagasta posted revenues of $5.97 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 11.4% after the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange dipped by 7.9%. They have posted a 4.2% increase in revenue so far in 2014.

Nakumatt retail chain plans strategic partnership in Kenya

Nakumatt, the largest retail chain in East Africa by number of outlets, expects to sell stake in its business by the middle of 2015 to fuel expansion in the region, according to Bloomberg.

The company, owned by the Shah family, is said to have held talks with two investors that are expected to purchase a 20% stake for as much as $50 million.

“We are looking for both a financial and strategic investor to partner with,” said head of strategy and operations Thiagarajan Ramamurthy. “We are currently assessing the right partner and the deal should be through by mid-next year.”

Nakumatt has 7,000 employees and 38 branches in Kenya. The company posted revenues in excess of $450 million in 2013.

Japanese airbag maker refuses regulator recall demands

Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp, owned by the Takada family, has come under scrutiny after it rejected calls from federal regulators to recall millions of faulty airbags.

The standoff sets up a possible legal showdown that could cost the firm billions of dollars and leave thousands of car owners deliberating the safety of their vehicles.

"There's not enough scientific evidence to change from a regional recall to a national recall," Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata senior vice president of global quality assurance, told a House subcommittee on Capitol Hill.

The Takata airbag issue has already affected over 8 million cars in the United States over the last eight years and could see further recalls of up to 2 million.

The 81-year-old company, 59% owned by the Takada family, has already seen a 60% drop in the company’s share price this year, knocking $750 million off the company’s value.

The air bag issue causes inflators to explode with too much force and has resulted in at least five deaths and multiple injuries. The issue is most prevalent in high humidity areas.

BMW launches car sharing scheme in London

German car manufacturer BMW is set to launch a flexible car sharing scheme in London this week, adding yet another name to the list of cities that offer the service, according to a company statement.

The family-run carmaker says the service is a response to the huge growth in urban living and will give members access to a fleet of 210 BMWs and Minis.

BMW, which is 46% owned by the Quandt family, said it would charge users a one-time fee of £29 for the service followed by a 39p a minute charge that will cap at £20.

The German carmaker claims the service is already a success, with 360,000 customers in locations including Cologne, San Francisco and Vienna. However, German competitor Daimler closed their own service in Britain just six months ago.

BMW is part of the German “big three” luxury carmakers, along with Mercedes-Benz and Audi. It posted revenues of €76 billion in 2013.


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