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FB Roundup: Lavazza, Fiat Chrysler, and Lotte Group

Lavazza to acquire Carte Noire for €800 million; Fiat Chrysler announces Ferrari IPO; and Shin Dong-bin appointed CEO at Lotte Holdings

Lavazza to acquire Carte Noire for €800 million

Lavazza, the family-run Italian coffee maker, has put in a formal bid to acquire French brand Carte Noire for €800 million ($879 million).

According to a company statement, the deal will treble the company’s turnover in France and will help it grow organically in the surrounding regions.

Carte Noire is owned by Dutch coffee maker Douwe Egberts BV, which is in turn owned by JAB Holdings, the investment office of Germany’s Reimann family.

With the deal, Lavazza "will reach a leadership position in France, the fourth global coffee market and the second in Europe," chief executive officer Antonio Baravalle said in a statement.

Lavazza was founded in Turin in 1895 and has kept coffee shops well stocked for more than a century. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that the fourth-generation family business ventured into cafes.

The firm posted turnovers of €1.3 billion in 2014.

Fiat Chrysler announces Ferrari IPO

Fifth-generation family business Fiat Chrysler has officially filed plans to sell a 10% stake in luxury carmaker Ferrari in an initial public offering that will be completed early next year.

The aim is for Ferrari to become a €10 billion separate company, Ferrari NV, and the IPO will help Fiat Chrysler to reduce debt and fund a €48 billion investment programme.

Ferrari said: ““As a standalone company with an iconic brand name, we will be better positioned to promote and extend the value of our brand, maintain our heritage, attract and reward technical and management talent and further enhance Ferrari’s position among the world’s premier luxury lifestyle companies”.

The company will list 10% of its shares with a view to later distributing a further 80% to its shareholders. The Ferrari family, headed by Piero Ferrari, will retain a 10% interest in the business.

According to the note filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and reported in the Financial Times: ‘The listing also includes a loyalty share scheme giving long-term investors greater voting power. That means Exor — the investment company of the Fiat founding family and Fiat Chrysler’s largest shareholder — and Piero Ferrari, son of the founder, will hold more than 45 per cent of Ferrari’s voting shares following the separation.’

Fiat Chrysler, the seventh-largest carmaker in the world, reported operating profit of $4.1 billion in 2014.

Shin Dong-bin appointed CEO at Lotte Holdings 

Shin Dong-bin, the second son of Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho, has been appointed CEO of the multinational conglomerate’s holding company.

According to the Korea Times, the 60-year-old was unanimously elected by the Lotte Holdings board and the move positions him as heir to the Lotte Group.

The news comes just months after his elder brother, Shin Dong-hoo, was ousted from his seat at Lotte Holdings, which Reuters estimates to be worth 92 trillion won ($90 billion).

Dong-bin said: “I will fulfil my duty and responsibility as leader and make best efforts for Lotte’s businesses in Korea and Japan, in accordance with the philosophy of Shin Kyuk-ho”.

Some analysts have suggested that the appointment will not settle the succession struggle, as the brothers hold comparable shares in the conglomerate, and have said that Dong-joo may wage war against his brother in the future.

Until Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho designates his shares it is likely that the struggle will continue, according to the Korea Times.


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