Jindal family compete for Stemcor's assets, America Movil reluctant to give blessing to KPN deal, Rodale third-gen steps down as president.
Stemcor/ Jindal Group
Two companies from different branches of the family-controlled OP Jindal Group are tussling over the Indian assets of the Oppenheimer family's steel trading company Stemcor.
UK-based Stemcor is the world's largest independent steel trader, operating in 45 countries. It had revenues of £5.1 billion (€5.9 billion) in 2012, but made bottom line losses of £46.2 million.
It is now selling its Indian assets – an iron ore pellet plant and an iron ore mine worth approximately $800 million (€602.7 million) – after it failed to raise the cash to refinance a £551.5 million syndicated loan.
Second-gen chairman Ralph Oppenheimer said in Stemcor's 2012 annual report the poor performance was down to growing too rapidly without having the experience to manage a larger company.
Two companies from the New Delhi based steel group OP Jindal – founded by Om Prakash Jindal in 1952 – were eyeing the deal. Jindal's collection of companies is divided into four divisions, each headed by one of the founder's sons.
There is a degree of overlap between the divisions, and now both Naveen Jindal, head of the $3.5 billion-a-year Jindal Steel and Power, and Sajjan Jindal, head of the $11-billion-a-year JSW Steel, have both expressed an interest in buying Stemcor's assets.
According to reports, Naveen was negotiating with the management of Stemcor's Indian operations, while Sajjan wrote personally to Oppenheimer to state his intentions.
The two men are said to have an amicable working relationship, so it remains to be seen how the deal will play out. Another two companies have also declared an interest.
Carlos Slim's company America Movil has tried to put the breaks on a bid by Spanish telecommunication's company Telefonica to buy the German operations of KPN – a Dutch telecommunications business.
America Movil is KPN's largest shareholder with a 30% stake. According to some media reports, it wants more than the €5 billion in cash and 17.6% stake in Telefonica Deutschland that has been offered, while other analysts have said it would be reluctant to lose its only operations in Europe's biggest market.
The two America Movil-appointed directors on KPN's eight-member board voted against the deal, which delayed it, but the deal only needed the approval of half the board to go ahead.
It will be subject to both regulatory approval and an extraordinary general meeting, which is likely to take place before the end of the year.
Rodale, the US-based publisher of health and fitness magazines, is on the hunt for a new president and chief operating officer.
Third-gen chief executive Maria Rodale, who has held the post since 2009, has become famous for her ruthless management style and number of long-standing senior executives and editors at the company – which publishes Men's Health, Prevention and Runner's World – have either been axed or quit over her tenure. Since 2006, revenue has dropped from $750 million to $400 million, mainly due to falling ad revenue.
In a leaked email to staff, Rodale said the president would take care of the daily running of the company, while the COO would be tasked with increasing efficiency.
Rodale said she would continue to be "very active" in the company, according to Adweek.