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Family business roundup: Five Guys expands; Harmsworth and Germinder families strengthen control

Five Guys crosses the Atlantic, while the Harmsworth and Germinder families have strengthened control over their respective businesses.

Five Guys crosses the Atlantic, while the Harmsworth and Germinder families have strengthened control over their respective businesses.

Five Guys
Five Guys, the US burger chain controlled by the Murrell family, has expanded to Europe, with the opening of its first restaurant in London on 4 July.

The family business, which became popular thanks to its free-toppings policy and counts President Obama among its fans, plans on opening four more restaurants in the capital before the end of the year. It partnered with Charles Dunstone, the founder of mobile phones retailer Carphone Warehouse, in its British venture.

Founded by Jerry Murrell in 1986, Five Guys currently has more than 1,000 restaurants in North America, 200 of which are operated by the family directly. It is the fastest growing food chain in the US, according to Forbes, with revenues reportedly increasing 792% between 2006 and 2011.

Daily Mail and General Trust
Jonathan Harmsworth, known as the fourth Viscount Rothermere, looks set to consolidate his family’s control over British media conglomerate Daily Mail and General Trust, having bought the voting shares held by his uncle Esmond Harmsworth’s family.

DMGT, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said on 2 July that Rothermere Continuation – the trust of Viscount Rothermere’s family – agreed to swap its non-voting shares in exchange for the voting shares held by Esmond Harmsworth 1998 Settlement, his uncle’s family trust.

The deal will increase Viscount Rothermere’s voting stock to almost 90%, from about 60%.

The fourth generation of the family to manage the family business, Viscount Rothermere currently serves as chairman of the group.

Pro-Pac
Raphael Geminder, the son-in-law of late Australian packaging billionaire Richard Pratt, has increased his stake in packaging firm Pro-Pac and now controls the majority of the company’s shares.

Through Pact Group – a company that is controlled by Germinder and his wife Fiona – he bought six million shares in Pro-Pac, the Sydney-based company said in a statement last week.

The operation raised the Germinder family’s ownership to 51.1%, from 48.3%. In 2011, Germinder said he planned on growing Pro-Pac through a number of acquisitions, which have already included Eco Food Pack Australia and Gallego.

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