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Family Business Roundup: Samsung, Ikea, BMW and Daimler

Samsung retires $2.5 billion proposed merger; Ikea doubles down on wind deal; and BMW and Daimler commit to Mexico supply deal

Samsung retires $2.5 billion proposed merger

South Korea’s largest family-owned conglomerate Samsung Heavy Industries has scrapped a proposed $2.5 billion (€1.99 billion) takeover of Samsung Engineering due to shareholder opposition.

The news comes as a setback for parent Samsung group, who are preparing for a power transfer from its ailing and elderly chief Lee Kun-hee to his children, but said they might reconsider the merger in future.

Shares in Samsung Engineering dropped by more than 9% following news of the opposition – to their lowest level in 5 years – while shares at Samsung Engineering dropped by 6.4%.

Samsung Group posted revenues of $208 billion in 2013. They recently cornered 31% of the global smartphone market, according to Forbes.

Ikea doubles down on wind deal

Swedish retailer Ikea, owned by the Kamprad family, made its biggest investment in renewable energy this week after buying a 165-megawatt wind farm in southern Texas.

The 71-year-old company now owns two wind farms in the state – having closed a similar deal earlier in the year – and hopes to sell the electricity in order to hedge its electricity bills across the country.

Other large family businesses are also betting on renewable power, including Spanish infrastructure giant Acciona and Argentina’s Impsa.

Renewable energy projects are particularly attractive to family firms looking to bolster their environmental credentials and are often complemented by lucrative financial incentives.

BMW and Daimler commit to Mexico supply deal

The BMW Group and Daimler have announced plans to build a network of suppliers for new factories in Mexico, according to a company statement, ushering in a new era of cooperation between the former rivals.

Germany’s Quandt family owns BMW, while Daimler is made up from a combination of institutional and private shareholders.

Divisional board member at Daimler, Klaus Zehender, who manages procurement at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, said the move would deepen the carmakers network of local suppliers in the region.

"We have had the BMW cooperation for eight years and it is alive and well. We are looking at how to work together in Mexico. The potential cost savings are around 10%," Zehender said.

Earlier in the year, BMW and Daimler revealed plans to invest $1 billion in a Mexico-based plant that would take advantage of the country’s developing automotive market. 

BMW have revenues of €76.8 billion in 2013, in contrast with Daimler’s €118 billion.


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