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FAMILY BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Volkswagen, Bolloré, and Samsung

Volkswagen posts its first quarterly loss in more than 15 years; Vincent Bolloré plans to IPO West African train project; and Samsung compensates workers in hazardous conditions claim

Emissions scandal forces Volkswagen’s first loss in 15 years
Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has posted its first quarterly loss in more than 15 years due to €6.7 billion ($7.38 billion) of charges it has set aside to cover costs after it admitted rigging diesel emission tests.
Controlled by the third generation of the Piech family, Volkswagen admitted last month it deliberately tampered with thousands of its cars’ emission testing software to deceive US environmental authorities.
Sales revenue in the nine months to 30 September grew 8.5% to €160.3 billion, Volkswagen warned that 2015 operating profit would be down significantly year-on-year because of the emissions rigging scandal.

Bolloré to list West Africa rail project
French billionaire Vincent Bolloré is planning to list a West African train project in the first half of next year, according to media reports.
The sixth-generation head of family-controlled conglomerate Groupe Bolloré is developing the West Africa rail loop, known as Blueline, that will connect Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria.
The initial public offering could raise up to €500 million ($551 million), a banker familiar with the project told Reuters.
Groupe Bolloré posted annual revenues of €10.6 billion in the year to 31 December 2014.

Samsung compensates additional workers in hazardous conditions claim
Samsung Group has compensated 30 former workers who agreed not to pursue legal action as it faces a claim from 244 victims of rare cancers and other diseases that are reportedly linked to hazardous working conditions at its South Korean electronics division.
Last month it launched a KRW100 billion ($88 million) fund for sufferers from 26 rare diseases who may have been exposed to elevated levels of radiation and toxic chemicals.
The controversy arises as the family-controlled conglomerate is transitioned from its ailing patriarch Lee Kun-Hee to heir apparent Lee Jae Yong, its new vice-chairman.
Separately, Samsung Electronics has sold its stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals to fellow South Korean family-controlled conglomerate Lotte Chemical Corporation for KRW125 billion.
The group posted annual revenues of $181 billion in 2014.
 

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