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Family business roundup: Saputo invests, Sabanci teams up with Eon and Arcadia gets an outside investor

It has been a week of new partnerships for family businesses, with Sabanci starting afresh with Eon and Arcadia Group taking on an outside investor. Meanwhile, Saputo has spied opportunity for growth in the US, while PPR has divested its plus-sized clothing chain.

It has been a week of new partnerships for family businesses, with Sabanci starting afresh with Eon and Arcadia Group taking on an outside investor. Meanwhile, Saputo has spied opportunity for growth in the US, while PPR has divested its plus-sized clothing chain.

Saputo
Montreal-based Saputo, controlled by the eponymous family, has made a move to increase its share of the American dairy market. Already one of the largest milk processors in the world, it signed an agreement to buy US-based Morningstar Foods in a deal worth $1.45 billion (€1.1 billion).

Morningstar Foods, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, has revenues of Can$1.6 billion (€1.2 billion) and a network of food manufacturing facilities across the US, boosting Saputo's foothold in the country.

Sabanci
Family-controlled conglomerate Sabanci Holdings has moved a step closer to realising its ambitions in the Turkish energy industry through a 50/50 partnership with Eon in power firm Enerjisa. Under an asset-swap deal, Eon will take over Austria-based Verbund’s shares in Enerjisa while Verbund will gain stakes in hydroelectric power stations in Germany.

The deal should allow Sabanci – and Enerjisa – to benefit from Eon’s "extensive experience" in energy, said family member and chair Guler Sabanci, considered one of the world’s most influential businesswomen.

"The deal supports our ambition for Enerjisa to be Turkey's largest privately owned energy company," she added. Sabanci, through Enerjisa, is aiming to have a 10% share of Turkey’s power generation market by 2020, as well as entering into natural gas imports and gas trading. This planned growth should allow the family business to reduce its reliance on other assets in its portfolio, such as Turkish bank Akbank.

PPR
Meanwhile, PPR, controlled by the French Pinault family, continues to divest non-core elements of its company. It announced on 5 December that its Redcats subsidiary has reached an agreement for the sale of American plus-sized business OneStopPlus Group.

In a statement, PPR said it will continue to focus on developing its profile in the luxury, sport and lifestyle sectors of the fashion industry. Charles Bank Capital Partners and Webster Capital, both private equity firms, will buy OneStopPlus Group in a deal worth $525 million.

Arcadia
Sir Philip Green has agreed the sale of a 25% stake in the Topshop and Topman chains, two of the core brands of his Arcadia empire. All brands in the Arcadia Group have been entirely owned by the Green family since it bought the retail business in 2002.

The £500 million (€617 million) deal with Leonard Green & Partners, one of the owners of US-based Brand J Crew, means Arcadia is debt free and now has considerable investment capital for expansion.

Green has ring-fenced Topshop and Topman from the remaining assets in the family business, ensuring that all other Arcadia brands remain well within his control. 

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