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FB Roundup: Grifols, Forbes, and Ubisoft

Spain’s Grifols condemned for moving treasury to Ireland; Forbes family sues Hong Kong investors over repayments; and Ubisoft posts lower than expected half-year results

Spain’s Grifols condemned for moving treasury to Ireland

Grifols, the Spanish family-owned pharmaceuticals firm, has drawn ire after revealing plans to move its treasury from Barcelona to Dublin just one week after the government announced a new business-friendly corporate tax category.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony for it’s new $100 million distribution centre outside Dublin last month, the third-generation Catalan family business revealed unexpectedly that it would move its corporate treasury from Barcelona to Dublin.

The move comes during a time when European Union officials are taking a hard look at multinational companies’ tax dealings with Ireland and some other countries in the region. Grifols says the move is to take advantage of the skilled Irish work force.

The blood-plasma business is currently headquartered in Barcelona and has more than 14,000 employees, which are primarily based in the United States.

Grifols had $3.9 billion in sales last year and around 5% of its revenues come from Spain.

Forbes family sues Hong Kong investors over repayments

The family behind Forbes Media is suing Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments after an alleged breach of payment on the stake they bought in the financial media firm last year, according to the BBC.

Forbes alleged in a lawsuit that Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM) has breached its purchase agreement and failed to make payments on time. IWM told the BBC the allegations are “completely without merit.”

Integrated Whale Media Investments was founded by Tak Cheung Yam through investment company Integrated Asset Management. The acquisition of the stake in Forbes was made with the aim of enlarging Forbes’ global reach

Forbes magazine currently has a circulation of almost one million, and includes international editions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

In 2013, Forbes Media achieved its best financial performance in six years. The publisher said it reaches 75 million people worldwide each month through various channels.

Ubisoft posts lower than expected half-year results

French family-owned video games maker Ubisoft has reported lower than expected results for the first half of the financial year thanks to a lack of blockbuster releases.

The company is also facing upheaval after Vivendi, the French media group owned by billionaire Vincent Bollore, purchased a 10.4% stake last October to become its largest shareholder.

According to a company statement, Ubisoft’s takings for the first six months of the financial year have been less than half of that of the previous year. Ubisoft said the damage has been lessened by strong back catalogue sales of its key franchises, such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Just Dance.

Ubisoft expects a much stronger second half to the financial year, thanks to the releases of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Far Cry Primal, Rainbow Six Siege, Tom Clancy’s The Division and Just Dance 2016.

The 29-year-old firm still expects to hit its targets for 2016, with sales of around €600 million ($652 million) for the third quarter.


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