America Movil secures funding for KPN, Rupert Murdoch invests in alternative media group, Boehringer Ingelheim breaks ground on animal pharmaceuticals plant in China, and Hutcinson Whampoa receives preliminary bids for supermarket chain.
America Movil said it had secured funding for a €7.2 billion bid to further its stake in Dutch telecom company Royal KPN.
The phone company has submitted an offer to Dutch authorities for approval and shareholders will have a chance to vote on the deal at an extraordinary meeting set for 2 October.
The company has said the move is to “unlock the hidden long-term value” of the business, but many speculate it is to challenge a rival offer from Spain’s Telefonica for the group’s German mobile business E-Plus.
Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who owns America Movil, reportedly wants E-Plus for himself, due to its 15% share of the German market that would be near-impossible to build from scratch.
21st Century Fox and Vice Media
21st Century Fox, the entertainment arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, has paid $70 million (€52.6 million) for a 5% stake Vice Media, the group behind the free – and often controversial – Vice magazine.
Murdoch has previously tweeted his interest in the group, which he said had a niche with millenials who didn’t have an interest in established media.
As well as its magazine, which is available across 28 countries, Vice Group has a film production company, a record label and a YouTube channel with more than 3 million subscribers.
Last year the company had revenues of approximately $175 million. Minority shareholders hold 25% of the company, but the majority is owned by its founders, Surroosh Alvi, Shane Smith and Gavin McInnes, who started the company in 1994.
German pharmaceuticals firm Boehringer Ingelheim, owned by descendants of the eponymous founding family, has broken ground on a €58 million veterinary manufacturing plant in Taizhou, China.
The firm, founded in 1885, has more than 60 years experience in the animal health sector and is the largest supplier for swine vaccines worldwide.
Board director Dr Joachim Hasenmaier said China was one of the most important animal health markets in the world and the company wanted to become the partner of choice of animal breeders and contribute to food safety in the region.
Hutchinson Whampoa has reportedly received at least seven bids for its Hong Kong supermarket business ParknShop.
According to Reuters, the list of interested companies includes Australia’s Woolworths, Japan’s Aeon Company, China Resources Enterprises and private equity firms KKR & Co and TPG Capital.
The family controlled firm reportedly plans to use proceeds from the sale to expand its health and beauty retail operations. Hutchinson has set an asking price between $3-4 billion.
Walmart had reportedly been mulling a bid and it is not known if it is among the list of interested parties.