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German family businesses

January 22, 2016

Henkel names new CEO; Reliance issues share to battle Bharti; Family businesses top Edelman trust poll 

Henkel names Hans Van Bylen as new CEO
Hans Van Bylen is to take over at German consumer goods maker Henkel after its incumbent chief executive Kasper Rorsted left to become the new CEO of Adidas.

Van Bylen, Henkel’s former head of the beauty care business, joined the family-controlled firm in 1984 and has been a member of the management board since 2005.

October 9, 2015

Schaeffler finally lists on stock exchange following delays due to VW scandal; Lotte family feud goes to court; Lundin tries to woo investors on merger.

Schaeffler debuts on stock market following delays

Family-owned car parts company Schaeffler saw its shares rise 8% on its market debut on Friday.

The German family business delayed the IPO one week due to the emissions scandal at Volkswagen, which accounts for more than 10% of group sales.

The company had also scaled back the size of the IPO, raising €938 million in the listing where it had initially planned to raise €2.5 billion.

September 25, 2015

Martin Winterkorn may have survived an attempted leadership coup in April, which pitted third-generation chairman against non-family executive, but the Volkswagen CEO did not prove so resilient in the face of the corporate scandal currently rocking the carmaker.

Martin Winterkorn may have survived an attempted leadership coup in April, which pitted third-generation chairman against non-family executive, but the Volkswagen CEO did not prove so resilient in the face of the corporate scandal currently rocking the carmaker.

Today the family business is reportedly set to announce that Matthias Mueller, who current heads the company’s luxury Porsche brand, will take over the entire group.

Winterkorn had worked at Volkswagen since 1993, serving as CEO for the last eight years.

September 22, 2015

Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has admitted it deliberately tampered with thousands of its cars’ emission testing software to deceive US environmental authorities.

Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has admitted it deliberately tampered with thousands of its cars’ emission testing software to deceive US environmental authorities.

It faces an initial fine of $18 billion for the 11 million cars affected, equivalent to its net annual profits, but if further investigations find the rigging is more widespread this could rise.

The German carmaker posted revenues of €197 billion in 2013.

June 3, 2015

As an eleventh-gen family member and long-time head of the M DuMont Schauberg Group, Alfred Neven DuMont was one of the Germany's most important post-war newspaper publishers.

As an eleventh-gen family member and long-time head of the M DuMont Schauberg Group, Alfred Neven DuMont was one of the Germany's most important post-war newspaper publishers.

Indeed the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was among those to offer words of praise at his 80th birthday party, in 2007. Her attendance was unsurprising given that Neven DuMont was chairman of a company that produced newspapers read by millions of Germans each day.

May 13, 2015

Right from the very dawn of the automobile in the 1800s, the name Maybach has been synonymous with quality engineering and high-end luxury. Now one scion is keeping that name alive in a unique fashion.

Throughout the history of the motorcar there is a select group of family names which have themselves become iconic automobile brands, Ford, Morgan, Daimler, Packard and Renault. But one name alone can claim to represent not only the earliest innovations and technical brilliance in the field, but also our contemporary view of the peak of luxuriousness and automotive splendour. That name is Maybach.

December 17, 2014

Germany’s highest court has this morning ruled a 2009 law that provides tax breaks and exceptions on inheritance for the country’s family business illegal and unconstitutional.

Germany’s highest court has this morning ruled a 2009 law that provides tax breaks and exceptions on inheritance for the country’s family businesses illegal and unconstitutional.

The Federal Constitutional Court said the law violated the principle of fair taxation as it provides special treatment to some companies.

But family business advocates say the new ruling could unfairly disadvantage firms that are family owned, compared to competitors that don't face inheritance tax bills.

December 16, 2014

Women make up only 16% of family business boards in Continental Europe’s four largest economies, and only 10% of boards in Germany, new research has revealed.

Women make up only 16% of family business boards in Continental Europe’s four largest economies, and only 10% of boards in Germany, new research has revealed.

The 2014 Survey of Corporate Governance Practices in European Family Businesses examined board composition, board efficiency, succession planning and chief executive/chairman demographics.

August 1, 2014

German family businesses are feeling the pinch from Russia’s confrontation with the West, particularly carmaker Volkswagen, who has reported an 8% year-on-year decrease in Russian sales. 

German family businesses are feeling the pinch from Russia’s confrontation with the West, particularly carmaker Volkswagen, who has reported an 8% year-on-year decrease in Russian sales.

With further sanctions on the horizon, Volkswagen, controlled by the Piech family, is just one of approximately 6,000 German family businesses operating in Russia that are expected to suffer from the incoming “level three” sanctions.

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