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Family business round up: Brown-Forman, Schindler Group, White Castle, Mills Fleet Farm

Brown-Forman sells liqueur brands to fellow family-owned business, fourth-gen announces succession plan at Schindler Group, leadership change at White Castle, and Mills family sells out to KKR.

Brown-Forman sells two liqueur brands

US family alcohol business Brown-Forman has sold two of its liqueur brands, Southern Comfort and Tuaca, to another family-owned company, Sazerac Company, for $544 million.

The sale will let the company focus on its whiskey products – a spirit that Euromonitor reports overtook vodka in popularity in 2015.

Sazerac, founded in 1850, is one of the oldest privately-owned businesses in New Orleans. It's CEO Mark Brown is a former president of advancing markets at Brown-Forman, but is no relation of the family.

Schindler Group prepares for non-family succession

Fourth-gen Alfred N Schindler has announced he will be stepping down as chairman of the Swiss family-controlled business in 2017.

He has proposed non-family member Silvio Napoli as his successor. Napoli will be proposed for election to the board of directors in March.

The company had revenues of CHF 10,000 million in 2014.

Daughter takes over at White Castle

Lisa Ingram has taken over her father at US fast food chain White Castle, effective 1 January.

The family business was founded by her grandfather in 1921 and today has revenues of $528.3 million.

Her father, Bill Ingram, had been at the helm of the business for 35 years.

Mills Fleet Farm family sells out

US private equity firm KKR has purchased third-generation family-owned retail chain Mills Fleet Farm for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1955, the company has 35 stores in the Midwestern states and sold outdoor gear, home improvement products and pet supplies, among many other types of merchandise.

"We have decided to partner with KKR in order to take Mills Fleet Farm to the next level of growth for the future," said co-presidents Henry Mills II and Stewart Mills, Jr in a statement.

"We took great care in our approach to finding the right partner who shared our values and would preserve the legacy the Mills family has built after serving the Midwest over the last 60 years.

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