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Family business roundup: Carlos Slim and Thai beverage firm make major acquisitions, Maloof family sells NBA team

There were big family investments and divestments worldwide this week, with Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim adding to his advertising empire, the Shaw family increasing its stake in the eponymous Canadian media business and the Maloofs relinquishing their US basketball team.

There were big family investments and divestments worldwide this week, with Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim adding to his advertising empire, the Shaw family increasing its stake in the eponymous Canadian media business and the Maloofs relinquishing their US basketball team.

America Movil
America Movil, the Mexico City-based telecoms operator controlled by Carlos Slim and his family, is to acquire the media and advertising division of Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento for nearly 1.7 billion Mexican pesos (€99.2 million).

The deal means Slim, reckoned by Bloomberg to be the world’s richest man, will boost his access to Mexico’s advertising market.

Previously regulators blocked America Movil’s access to the local broadcast market due to competition concerns. The acquisition would give America Movil advertising opportunities primarily at soccer games, but also on pedestrian bridges, street furniture and on space at airports and public transportation services.

CIE said the deal depended on certain conditions, including regulatory ratification.

Thai Beverage
Meanwhile, a slightly poorer multi-billionaire, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is also coming closer to enlarging his empire.

Charoen is in the process of becoming majority shareholder of Fraser & Neave, primarily known as the leader in Singapore and Malaysia’s soft drinks markets. Aside from F&N’s soft drinks, dairy and publishing businesses, the company’s real estate portfolio – worth more than S$8 billion (€4.9 billion) is also up for grabs.

Chareon, also a heavyweight real estate investor, hopes to add F&N to his Thai Beverage, the company that makes Chang beer, as well as other spirits, energy drinks and instant coffee.

Shareholders in F&N have until the beginning of February 2013 to accept of reject Chareon’s S$13.5 billion offer. The takeover would be the biggest in south-east Asia’s history.

Maloof family
The other side of the hemisphere sees a major sports divestment, as the Maloof family has agreed to sell the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings to a group led by hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen and Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft.

The investment group, which plans to restore the NBA team to their native Seattle and rename them the SuperSonics, aims to purchase the Maloof family's 65% share of the team for an estimated $340 million (€255 million).

The Maloofs have a wide expanse of business ventures including hotels, casinos and beer distribution rights on the west coast of the US; the family is also one of the largest single shareholders in Wells Fargo Bank.

The deal awaits NBA approval.

Shaw Communications
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Canada, the Shaw family strengthened its investment in Shaw Communications. One of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, the Calgary-based family business provides telephone, internet and television services across Alberta and British Columbia.

In a statement, the family announced the purchase of an additional 750,000 Class B non-voting participating shares in the company.

The Shaw family also advised the company that it would continue its practice of purchasing shares on a regular basis.

Sabanci
Finally, Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holdings divested itself wholly of Olmuska, a corrugated packaging company.

Sabanci, controlled by the eponymous family, sold all of its 43.73% share to its Memphis-based partner, International Paper, in a share deal worth 101.2 million Turkish lira (€42.9 million).

Olmuska was established as a joint venture by Sabanci and International Paper in 1998.

The transaction now sees International Paper become majority shareholder, holding approximately 87.5 % of Olmuksa's outstanding shares and triggers a mandatory call for tender of the remaining 12.5% of public float. 

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