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Family business round-up: Heineken, Tata Steel and Fidelity Investments

By Michael Finnigan

Dutch family brewer Heineken, owned by the eponymous family, has announced long-rumoured plans to enter Formula 1 with a major multi-year sponsorship deal.

The deal to begin next year will include track branding and title sponsorship of the Italian Grand Prix, held in early September.

Heineken will create fully integrated global F1 “Open your World” manifesto and “If You Drive, Never Drink” campaigns at the circuit, media and events. British former F1 racing drivers David Coulthard and Sir Jackie Stewart will be campaign ambassadors.

“Formula 1 is bigger than a race,” Gianluca Di Tondo, senior global director at Heineken, said.

“It is a global event. F1 represents a unique opportunity for Heineken to engage with existing and potential consumers in important growth markets.

“This partnership complements our existing global platforms, enabling us to reach F1's huge spectator numbers and 400 million unique television viewers every year.”

The €19 billion ($21.4 billion) family brewery previously established relationships with UEFA Champions League, Rugby World Cup and the James Bond franchise.


New owners, old name for Tata sale

“British Steel” is the new name for an Anglo-French division of Tata Steel UK bought by family office Greybull Capital.

Bimlendra Jha, executive chairman of the sold Long Products Europe business and chief executive of Tata Steel UK, an operation within the Indian family business said: “We hope that under Greybull Capital ownership, the business will continue the momentum of the improvement program that has been initiated in the last 12 months.”

The new British Steel includes the Scunthorpe steelworks, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, and associated distribution facilities, as well as a rail mill in northern France. All together the business employs 4,800 people – 4,400 in the UK and 400 in France.

Tata Steel is Europe's second largest steel producer, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world's largest steel producers, with a steel capacity of about 25 million tonnes and 75,000 employees across five continents.


Fidelity quits best practice talks

A summit between high-profile US investors to develop a code of best practice ended abruptly when the family-run Fidelity Investments walked out.

JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon spent months in discussions to develop guidelines for how board members should conduct themselves and deal with shareholders, CNBC reported.

Business magnate Warren Buffet plus delegates from notables including General Motors, General Electric and Verizon participated.

However, Fidelity chief executive Abigail Johnson reportedly decided against signing up to a draft dozen-page statement of principles which had been circulated.

Fidelity told CNBC it would sit on the sidelines but the group had done "valuable" work.

"We take corporate governance very seriously at Fidelity and have long had detailed proxy voting guidelines which we regularly update," the group said.

“Every company has its own distinct business model, culture and values, and thus, we generally do not sign on to blanket industry documents."

Wellington Management is also reported to have pulled out.

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