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Family business roundup: Leon Black looks to publishing, Mill Con delays steel firm purchase

Leon Black, who reportedly paid $120 million (€93 million) for a pastel of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, has bought a publishing house, while a number of family-controlled companies are eyeing up sales and acquisitions.

Leon Black, who reportedly paid $120 million (€93 million) for a pastel of Edvard Munch’s The Scream in May, has bought a publishing house, while a number of family-controlled companies are eyeing up sales and acquisitions.

Black and his family bought Phaidon Press, an 89-year-old art publishing house, from Richard Schlagman. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

Schlagman said the decision to sell was not an easy one. But he added: “From my vantage point, this is the perfect combination to guarantee a great future for Phaidon. I am delighted to hand over this precious baton to a family with such sensitivity towards Phaidon’s products.”

In Asia, Mill Con Steel Industries, controlled by the Leeswadtrakul family, has decided to delay indefinitely the purchase of Thai Special Steel Industry because of steel prices, according to the local media. Chinese steel is currently far cheaper than its Thai counterpart.

"We will get nothing from this deal but losses because Chinese-made steel is priced much lower than that of TSSI," Sittichai Leeswadtrakul, president and chief executive of Mill Con, told the Bangkok Post.

Meanwhile, there could soon be a link between technology business Two Way and the family behind Genting, best known for its gambling and gaming arms.

Two scions of the Malaysian gaming empire are hoping to take control of Australian-listed Two Way. Donaco Singapore, the company controlled by Lim Keong Yew and Benjamin Lim Keong Hoe, will acquire 95% of Two Way, to be renamed Donaco International, under the plans. Shareholders are expected to vote on the issue in November.

Reports in the financial press also say luxury goods brand PPR’s board will vote on 9 October on a plan to spin off Fnac, the music and electronics chain.  

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