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Family business roundup: Slim and Li Ka-shing expand operations, Boltes keep control while Benihana family sells

Carlos Slim’s America Movil hit the news again last week with an announcement of consolidation efforts and revelations of a new acquisition target.

Carlos Slim’s America Movil hit the news again this week with an announcement of consolidation efforts and revelations of a new acquisition target.

Mexico City-based America Movil said it will delist Telmex – also a company owned by Slim – from the Mexican and New York stock exchanges. The communications giant is to buy the remaining 2.79% of Telmex it doesn’t already own.

America Movil is also reportedly looking to acquire a stake in Warsaw-based Hawe, a holding company focusing on telecommunication.

Following Hawe’s announcement that it plans to raise around €100 million by selling shares, speculation is rife that Slim could become one of the possible shareholders. But neither group has confirmed any deal at this stage.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, who controls Hutchison Whampoa, is also buying stakes in tech-related companies. He has acquired shares in Ginger Software, a developer of programs that help correct words entered on computers.

Li, along with Harbor Pacific Capital Partners, has invested a combined $5 million (€3.4 million) in the software-maker. This isn’t the first time Li has targeted tech firms. He’s previously invested in social websites including Facebook, Spotify and Siri.

Meanwhile, the family behind BDP International, the logistics and transport company, said that after seven months of reviewing their options including bringing in private equity and exiting the business altogether, the family has decided instead to retain full ownership of the company.

A spokesman for the company that is controlled by the Boltes told CampdenFB the family is no longer “seeking a minority investor nor is the company for sale”.

“It will continue to be owned and operated by the Bolte family and current leadership team, re-investing through its solid financial status and established avenues of capital generation via its banking partners,” the spokesman added.

The Philadelphia-based group, headed by president and chief executive officer Richard Bolte Jr, has revenues of around $1 billion. “Now in its 47th year, BDP’s ownership has always been resolutely independent. The autonomy of private, family ownership has enabled BDP to enjoy the freedom to stay focused on its customers in the best of times as well as in times of economic uncertainty,” said the spokesman.

In contrast, family business Benihana, which runs Japanese restaurants, has been sold to a private equity group. Started as a family business in 1964 by Rocky Aoki, Benihana went public in the 1980s and has now been acquired by New York City-based Angelo, Gordon & Co.

The deal valued the company at $295 million. The sale brings to an end the family’s control of the group, which had come under the scrutiny of shareholders following Rocky’s death in 2008. His widow Keike Ono Aoki had reportedly been fighting against changes that would dilute her family’s control.

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