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Family Business Roundup: Sabanci and Inditex invest, Rieber & Son close in on sale

European family businesses have been alternatively flourishing and nearing extinction this week. Sabanci is pouring capital into its electricity empire, while Inditex took control of the Zara franchise in Finland. Meanwhile, Rieber & Son await ratification on the sale of the family business.

European family businesses have been variously flourishing and nearing extinction this week. Sabanci is pouring capital into its electricity empire, while Inditex took control of the Zara franchise in Finland. Meanwhile, Rieber & Son await ratification on the sale of the family business.

Sabanci

One of Turkey’s biggest conglomerates, Sabanci, is upping investment in its electricity generation branch, Enerjisa.

The family-controlled company is putting $2 billion (€1.47 million) into power stations variously supported by coal, gas or hydro-electricity. German utility company Eon, 50/50 partner in the venture, will match Sabanci’s investment, making the total extra spending by the two groups $4 billion.

The partnership aims to generate a potential 8.3 gigawatts across several power stations by 2020.

In December 2012 Sabanci’s third-gen chairperson, Guler Sabanci, announced aspirations that Enerjisa would become Turkey’s largest privately owned energy company.

Inditex

Amancio Ortega’s Inditex, the world’s largest fashion group, will purchase Zara’s four stores in Finland– thereby terminating its franchising cooperation with the Stockman group.

The Spanish conglomerate said: "The process is in line with Inditex's standard management formula in the immense majority of countries where the company has a sales presence."

Ortega, one of the richest men in Europe with a net worth of $37.5 billion (€27.49 billion) according to Forbes, retains 59.26% of Inditex.

The four Zara stores and their 180 employees will continue as part of Z-Fashion Finland, under the Inditex group.

Rieber & Son

Staying in Scandinavia, Orkla’s acquisition of the family-run food manufacturing company Rieber & Son is nearing completion. The deal has been authorised by the European Commission, but will now be reexamined by the Norwegian competition regulator.

The competition authority said it would “conduct a thorough assessment of the impact of the acquisition [on] competition in the Norwegian food market”.

The sale will bring an end to 173 years of family ownership; Paul Gottlieb Rieber founded the firm as a trading company in 1839.

Both Rieber & Son and Orkla have until 15 February to provide a report to the competition authority, which will then consider whether or not to intervene.

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