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Family Business Roundup: News Corp to delist; Suntory files for IPO; Fiat plans Chrysler purchase

News Corp to delist in London when it splits its business activities; Japanese drinks firm Suntory plans $4.7 billion IPO; and Fiat wants to buy the remaining stake in Chrysler.

News Corp to delist in London when it splits its business activities; Japanese drinks firm Suntory plans $4.7 billion IPO; and Fiat wants to buy the remaining stake in Chrysler.

News Corp

News Corp has announced it will delist from the London Stock Exchange when it splits its publishing and entertainment activities next month.

The family-controlled company, founded by Rupert Murdoch, said the volume of stock traded on the LSE represents just 1% of that traded globally. The New York-based company will be listed on the NASDAQ when it splits, with a secondary listing on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Announcing the split this month, the media conglomerate said its publishing division would retain the name News Corporation, while the broadcasting and entertainment business will become 21st Century Fox – an updated name for Twentieth Century Fox, which Murdoch bought in 1985.

Following the split, Murdoch will serve as chairman and chief executive of 21st Century Fox, and as chairman of News Corporation, and a poison pill strategy is in place to prevent a hostile takeover.

The company will delist on 28 June, the same day it is set to split.

Suntory

Third-gen Japanese firm Suntory Holdings has filed plans to list 40% of its food and non-alcoholic drinks unit, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The firm aims to raise $4.7 billion (€3.6 billion) from investors – set to be the country’s largest share offering this year.

In 2010, Suntory walked away from merger talks with rival drinks firm Kirin when it could not secure control of what would have been one of the largest food and beverage groups in the world. The proposed merger was part of a wider bid to expand Suntory into international markets. Kirin said it had negotiated on the understanding the new entity would be operated as a public company.

Founded in 1899, Suntory is currently headed by third-generation Nobutada Saji and is around 90% family owned. The company also sells liquors, wine, skincare products and operates a number of restaurant chains.

Fiat

Fiat is reported to be seeking finance of $10 billion (€7.7 billion) to take full ownership of Chrysler, in which it currently has a 58.5% stake, and to refinance the two automakers’ debt.

The Italian company, owned by the Agnelli family, is reportedly planning to merge the two companies before listing them on the US stock exchange in 2014. The merger would create the world’s seventh-largest auto group.

Before Fiat can move forward with its plans it must resolve a price dispute with healthcare trust VEBA, which has a 16.4% stake in Chrysler. Fiat believes the 41.5% stake it wants to buy in Chrysler is worth $2 billion, whereas VEBA believes it is worth around twice that price. They have been arguing their respective cases in a Delaware court, with a decision due at the end of July.

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