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Family Business Roundup: Henkel and Chiquita

Family-owned Henkel predicts growth, higher profits and Billion-dollar banana deal stalls after Brazilian bid

Family-owned Henkel predicts growth, higher profits and Billion-dollar banana deal stalls after Brazilian bid

Family-owned Henkel predicts growth, higher profits

German consumer goods maker Henkel AG & Company, led by the Henkel family since 1876, reported increased profits in its second quarter, despite trading conditions being hampered by the Ukraine crisis.

Net profit at the company, which is 58% family owned, rose to €441 million in the three months ending June from €418 million. Revenue, on the other hand, fell 3.5% to €4.14 billion.

Henkel, currently chaired by fifth-gen Simone Bagel-Trah, said the revenue drop was the result of depreciating currencies, but reaffirmed that the company was still on track to meet 2016 targets. 

“The escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as well as the persisting political turmoil in the Middle East is expected to have a negative impact on the market environment,” chief executive Kasper Rorsted said.

Henkel is known for its Persil washing powder and Schwarzkopf hair products.

Billion-dollar banana deal stalls after Brazilian bid

A merger between Chiquita and Irish fruit company Fyffes that would create the world’s largest banana company has stalled at the last moment after two of Brazil’s wealthiest families entered their own bid.

Brazilian family-owned orange juice company Cutrale and banking dynasty Grupo Safra, owned by the eponymous family, offered Chiquita $625 million (€467 million) to take over the brand, almost $100 million more than Fyffes.

The new bid comes as Chiquita and Fyffes finalise an original deal that would see the new company valued at approximately $1 billion, and allow it to take advantage of Ireland’s lower tax rates.

The Brazilian families hope for a response from Chiquita by the week’s end.

Chiquita’s stock increased 33% on Friday following news of the merger, while Fyffes lost more than 14.1%.

There have been a numbers of Brazilian acquisitions of US companies of late, including investment firm 3G Capital’s acquisition of Heinz and Burger King. 


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