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FB Roundup: Benetton, Nintendo, and IKEA

Benetton's bid for toll road firm, Nintendo switches up production, and IKEA reassembles its leadership.
Benetton's bid for toll road firm
 
The family synonymous with colourful clothing and controversial advertisements is ramping up its efforts in the comparatively drab toll road industry.
 
The Benetton family’s largest asset is not its well-known and now struggling clothing arm, but toll road operator Atlantia, which is eyeing an $18.3 billion takeover of Spanish infrastructure firm Albertis. 
 
The combined company would become the world’s largest toll operator to be owned by Edizione, the Benetton family’s holding company. Edizione turns over $6 billion a year including about $1.5 billion from the Benetton’s namesake clothing lines.
 
The purchase of Albertis is significant for the Benettons, as for the first time less than half Edizione’s revenues will be generated in the family’s Italian homeland. The takeover is reportedly motivated by a desire to take advantage of economies of scale.
 
United Colors of Benetton, the family’s flagship business, was founded in 1965 by four siblings whose children are now involved in the management of Edizione.
 
 
Nintendo switches up production
 
Nintendo’s share price is soaring as the company ups the production of its latest console the Switch, an unexpected runaway success.
 
Since the March release of the Switch, the Japanese videogame maker’s share market value has ballooned to more than $43 billion, making it the 20th largest company listed on the Tokyo Stock exchange.
 
A company source told the Financial Times a fear of “customer tantrums” was driving the decision to up production of the Switch to 18 million units for the 2017-18 financial year. The company’s official publicised target for the year was 10 million units.
 
Nintendo, with annual revenues of $4.4 billion, was in good shape to see this figure continue to rise, largely off the back of the success of the Switch and associated games, namely Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the soon-to-be-released Mario Odyssey.
 
Nintendo was founded in 1889 and is now owned by the sixth generation of the Yamauchi family.
 
It has reinvented itself after weathering difficult times following the death of third-generation patriarch Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2013. The ensuing succession tax diluted the family’s stake in the business, a saga which unfolded amidst disappointing sales of its 2012 Wii U console.
 
 
IKEA reassembles top team
 
IKEA has smoothly rolled out company stalwart Jesper Brodin as its new president and chief executive.
 
Brodin replaces Peter Agnefjall, who held the top job for five of his 22 years at the Swedish furniture maker. Brodin, formerly head of range and supply, said he and Agnefjall had worked “side by side for many years”.
 
Under the control of the second generation of the Kamprad family, IKEA has set itself ambitious targets, including a global sales of €50 billion ($55.9 billion) by 2020 – double its 2012 figures. In FY 2016, sales amounted to $38.2 billion, an 8% increase on the previous year.
 
Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, chairman of INGKA Holdings which controls IKEA Group, said while he was sad to farewell Agnefjall, he respected the latter’s decision to spend time with his family.
 
“Under Peter’s leadership, IKEA Group has expanded into new and crucial markets, accelerated our retail transformation in order to meet the changing needs of customers, and taken our sustainability commitments further,” Jarnheimer said.
 
IKEA was set up in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, who remains a senior adviser to the business. The company said 783 million people had visited its 348 stores over the last year, while IKEA.com clocked 2.1 billion visits.

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