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FB roundup: Nordstrom, BMW, and ArcelorMittal

Nordstrom rejects offer from founding family, BMW reports record year despite R&D spend-up, and son moves up at ArcelorMittal

Nordstrom rejects offer from founding family

Nordstrom has rejected an $8.4 billion offer from its namesake family, the latest chapter in the family’s ongoing attempt to wrest back control of the retail giant.

A special committee appointed to consider the $50 per share offer from six Nordstrom family members said in a statement they deemed it “inadequate”.

The committee also threatened to terminate discussions with the family: “The special committee has directed its advisers and management not to provide further due diligence information to the (family) group.

“Furthermore, unless the group can promptly and substantially improve the price it is proposing to pay for the company, the special committee intends to terminate discussions,” the statement said.

Nordstrom was first publicly listed in 1971 and today third and fourth generation family members collectively own just over 30%. The family announced in June 2017 that it was looking to re-privatise the remaining shares.

The retailer achieved record sales of $15 billion in 2017, but lagged slightly on earnings expectations.

BMW reports record year despite R&D spend-up

BMW has reported record profits and revenues despite pouring money into its “future mobility” programme.

The net €8.7 billion ($10.7 billion) profit, up from $8.5 billion the year before, was buoyed by US tax reforms, improved margins and a sales volume increase 4.1% to 2,463,526 units. Revenue was $122 billion.

Nicolas Peter, member of the management board responsible for finance said the carmaker allocated an additional $1.23 billion to research and development compared to 2016, bringing the total R&D budget to $7.5 billion.

“[We] nevertheless increased our operating profit. This is what we mean by sustained profitability,” Peter said.

BMW is 50% publicly floated but controlled by German siblings Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten.

Son moves up at ArcelorMittal

The son of ArcelorMittal founder Lakshmi Mittal has been made president of his $69-billion-a-year family firm—the world’s largest steelmaker.

Aditya Mittal is ArcelorMittal Group’s chief financial officer and chief executive of the business’s Europe arm. He will continue these roles alongside the chairmanship and will continue to report to his father.

“Aditya has proved himself an effective and accomplished manager…delivering results and creating value for the company,” the elder Mittal said in a statement. “He will continue to work with me in shaping the future strategic direction of the group.”

Lakshmi Mittal created the company in 2005 by merging the European steel company Arcelor with his own Mittal Steel. He founded Mittal Steel in 1976.


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