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Family business roundup: Crane and Bharti sell subsidiaries while Bertelsmann looks to acquire another company

They may be based in different continents, but three family businesses – Crane Group, Bharti and Bertelsmann – have hit the headlines for either selling off part of their firms or for looking to acquire other companies.

They may be based in different continents, but three family businesses – Crane Group, Bharti and Bertelsmann – have hit the headlines for either selling off part of their firms or for looking to acquire other companies.

TimberTech, a subsidiary of family-owned holding company Crane Group, has been acquired by CPG International, said a statement on 27 August. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“[The Crane family] knows [CPG’s] leaders, their values and their capabilities. They share our commitment to their employees, recognising that their employees are their strength,” third-gen Mike Crane, president of Ohio-based Crane Group, said in the release.

The company, founded by Robert Crane in 1947, operates across real estate, investment, manufacturing and services.

Meanwhile, Centum Learning, owned by the founders of the Bharti group, has been sold to Everonn Education, a part of Dubai-based Varkey.

The Mittal family – which controls India’s largest telecoms company, Bharti Airtel – owned Centum through its family office. Centum provides training and skills development programmes, operating in 20 countries across Africa and south Asia.

In contrast, Mohn-family-owned Bertelsmann is looking to buy the shares in Gruner + Jahr that it doesn’t already own.

A spokeswoman for Bertelsmann told CampdenFB: “Bertelsmann and the Jahr Holding, as shareholders of Gruner + Jahr, are currently in talks about the situation and future direction of Gruner + Jahr.”

German group Bertelsmann currently owns almost three-quarters of Gruner + Jahr, with the rest held by the founding Jahr family.

Media speculation is rife that the Jahrs may take a stake in Bertelsmann in return for the family’s shares. But the spokeswoman was unwilling to comment on any changes to the companies’ shareholder structures.

The news comes just days after Bertelsmann converted into a limited partnership company to allow the Mohn family to retain control while taking on other investors.

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