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Family business roundup: Hotel Chocolat mulls sale, McGraw Hill invests, Quebecor sells websites

Hotel Chocolat may sell a stake to raise funds for expansion; McGraw Hill to increase holding in Crisil; Quebecor sells two websites.

Hotel Chocolat may sell a stake to raise funds for expansion; McGraw Hill to increase holding in Crisil; Quebecor sells two websites.

Hotel Chocolat
Hotel Chocolat, the luxury chocolate chain, is considering raising funds for international expansion by selling a minority stake in the business. 

The company – founded by Angus Thirlwell, second-gen of the Mr Whippy ice cream business, and Peter Harris in 2003 – hired PwC last year to explore the possibility of a sale and to evaluate bids from third parties.

The retailer could be valued at up to £100 million (€117. 2 million) – its pre-tax profits jumping 84% to £5.4 million on revenues of £63.8million in 2012.

It currently has 66 stores in the UK, two in Europe and two in the US.

McGraw Hill Financial
The new incarnation of the former publishing business, which focuses on ratings and research in international capital, commodities and commercial markets, has made an offer for an additional 22.23% stake in India-based credit ratings and research company Crisil.

If the offer is accepted, the $340 million (€261.3 million) deal will increase McGraw Hill's holding in the company to 75% from 52.77%. The transaction should be concluded by August 2013.

McGraw Hill has a number of similar businesses in its stable, including credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's and index business S&P Indices.

Harold McGraw III, fourth-gen chairman, president and chief executive of the eponymous company, said in a statement that McGraw Hill planned to keep Crisil as a listed, independent company following the deal.

Quebecor
Quebecor, the Canadian media company controlled by the Peladeau family has agreed a deal with e-commerce company Mediagrif for the sale of two of its websites.

Mediagrif acquired employment site Jobboom from Quebecor on 1 June and will acquire dating website Reseau Contact on or around 31 October.

The sale of the two sites will net Quebecor Can$65 million (€48.3 million). The company had a difficult time over the first quarter of 2013, with profit falling 50.1% compared to the same period last year.  

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