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Family business roundup: Merck acquires a supplier, Soros invests in TV

Germany’s Merck bulked up its materials and specialty chemicals business with purchase of high-tech electronic materials company and George Soros bought into Australia’s Nine Entertainment’s IPO.

Germany’s Merck bulked up its materials and specialty chemicals business with purchase of high-tech electronic materials company and George Soros bought into Australia’s Nine Entertainment’s IPO.

Merck
German pharmaceuticals and chemicals business Merck, which is 70% owned by the eponymous founding family, is to buy Britain's AZElectronic Materials for £2.6 billion (€3.1 billion).

Merck, the world's largest maker of liquid crystals used in TVs, tablet and smartphone screens, has agreed to pay 403.5 pence per share in cash for the supplier of chemicals used in computers, smart phones, mp3 players and games consoles.

The purchase comes despite the German family business reporting a 4% dip in sales to $11 billion compared to the third quarter of 2012.

George Soros
George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager, is understood to have bought AUD$6 million to AUD$8 million-worth (€4 million to €5.3 million) of shares in Australia’s Nine Entertainment ahead of the company's AUD$1.9 billion IPO via his self-titled investment vehicle.

Nine Entertainment, which listed at AUD$2.05 on 6 December, closed down seven cents on its first day trading on the ASX at AUD$1.98.

Nine Entertainment was formerly owned by Australia’s Packer family before being sold to private equity at the peak of the buyout boom in two deals in 2006 and 2008 by James Packer, son of media mogul Kerry Packer. 

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