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Ownership and Management

July 17, 2014

Last week’s sale of kitchen appliance manufacturer Indesit, the latest in a long line of large Italian family businesses recently sold to foreigners, could be a wake up call for the government to make the country more business friendly, a family business academic says.

Last week’s sale of kitchen appliance manufacturer Indesit, the latest in a long line of large Italian family businesses recently sold to foreigners, could be a wake up call for the government to make the country more business friendly, a family business academic says.

The Merloni family sold its controlling 60.4% stake in the company to US competitor Whirlpool for €758 million, bringing to an end four generations of family control. It was the largest producer of home appliances in Italy.

July 17, 2014

A fresh-faced CEO straight out of business school isn't always the person to inspire public and investor confidence, but circumstances sometimes force a young candidate into the top spot at a family firm.

Picking a chief executive for any family business is a tough task. It is especially problematic if the company is bent on keeping a family member in the top job. This was the conundrum Gianni Agnelli faced when trying to prepare an heir to take the wheel of his family’s iconic Italian car brand Fiat. Drug addiction in his only son and then stomach cancer in his nephew saw his pool of potential successors whittled down to his 21-year-old grandson John Elkann.

July 15, 2014

Norwegian family office Ferd Capital has sold five companies to Nordic investment house Verdane Capital, in an effort to focus on larger and more mature companies. 

Norwegian family office Ferd Capital has sold five companies to Nordic investment house Verdane Capital, in an effort to focus on larger and more mature companies.

In a statement, Ferd Capital, owned by the Andresen family, said the sale of five software and energy companies would “free up valuable time and resources” for its new strategic direction.

July 14, 2014

Russell Stover, the US family-owned chocolate maker famed for one of its product’s appearance in the feature film Forrest Gump, has sold its business to Swiss rival Lindt & Spruengli. 

Russell Stover, the US family-owned chocolate maker famed for one of its product’s appearance in the feature film Forrest Gump, has sold its business to Swiss rival Lindt & Spruengli.

It represents the third time the Missouri-based business, which has revenues of $500 million (€367.0 million), has changed to a new family’s ownership. 

Lindt, controlled by a branch of the founding Sprungli family, anticipates the acquisition will see its US turnover reach more than $1.5 billion by 2015.

July 10, 2014

The head of strategic planning at technology-company Infosys, Ganapathy Subramanian, will reportedly step down after a nearly a decade and take on a managerial role at the chief executive’s family office. 

The head of strategic planning at technology-company Infosys, Ganapathy Subramanian, will reportedly step down after a nearly a decade and take on a managerial role at the chief executive’s family office.

According to an article from Business Standard, Subramanian will join Infosys’ cofounder S D Shibulal – set to retire in August – at his family office Innovations Investment Management India in Bangalore in the near future.

July 10, 2014

The chairman of one of the UK’s oldest family businesses has posted a formal offer to de-list the jewellery and medal maker and return it to full family ownership.

The chairman of one of the UK’s oldest family businesses has posted a formal offer to de-list the jewellery and medal maker and return it to full family ownership.

Bryan Toye, a direct descendent of the original founders of Toye & Co, took a controlling interest in the Birmingham company last week, and immediately announced a 35p per share offer to remaining shareholders.

Independent directors have recommended shareholders reject the offer saying it does not represent fair value for the company.

July 9, 2014

The size of family business workforces is comparatively static to non-family companies even as revenues fluctuate, according to a new study.

The size of family business workforces is comparatively static to non-family companies even as revenues fluctuate, according to a new study.

Sales and employment changes in entrepreneurial ventures with family ownership,published in the Journal of Small Business Management, found technology-based family businesses in Italy were equally resistant to hiring new staff in times of growth as they were to laying of staff in troubled times.

July 7, 2014

African family businesses have significantly outperformed those in the Middle East and Asia when it comes to good corporate governance, exclusive research conducted by Campden Wealth reveals, with 71.4% employing non-family key decision makers in executive positions.

African family businesses have significantly outperformed those in the Middle East and Asia when it comes to good corporate governance, exclusive research conducted by Campden Wealth reveals, with 71.4% employing non-family key decision makers in executive positions.

In Asian and the Middle Eastern family businesses, non-family members account for only 18.2% and 22.2% of key decision-making executives respectively.

June 30, 2014

KKR purchases a third of renewables firm Acciona, Pentland Group posts significant profits, Brunello Cucinelli protects the future of his family business and Antofagasta signs lucrative mining agreement. 

KKR purchases a third of renewables firm Acciona, Pentland Group posts significant profits, Brunello Cucinelli protects the future of his family business and Antofagasta signs lucrative mining agreement.

Acciona

Spanish infrastructure giant Acciona has sold a 33% stake in its international renewable energy business, the firm said on Tuesday.

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