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Family Business Roundup: Benetton, Antofagasta and Teck Resources, Gehl Foods

Benetton family sells stake in World Duty Free; Family-backed Antofagasta and Teck Resources in merger talks; and Gehl Foods sold to Chicago-based firm

Benetton family sells stake in World Duty Free

Edizone, the family office behind Italy’s Benneton family, said on Monday that it has sold its 50.1% stake in World Duty Free to Swiss competitor Dufry.

According to a company statement, the deal values the group at €3.6 billion ($3.8 billion) and will make the combined group the world's largest travel retailer.

Dufry reportedly paid €10.25 per share.

In addition to the controlling stake in the family’s eponymous clothing brand, the Benetton family also owns infrastructure including toll roads, airports and real estate.

According to Reuters, South Korea's Lotte Group and China's Sunrise Duty Free were also among the bidders for World Duty Free as was France's Lagardere group.

Family-backed Antofagasta and Teck Resources in merger talks

Family-owned mining conglomerates Teck Resources and Antofagasta are reportedly exploring merger options that could create one of the world’s largest copper producers.

According to Bloomberg, Teck and Antofagasta have conducted early-stage talks, but noted that both the miners said they were not currently in negotiations.

Vancouver based Teck Resources is controlled by the Keevil family, while Chile’s Luksic family controls Antofagasta Plc. Both companies had revenues of over $5 billion in 2014.

According to Toronto-based analyst Shane Nagle, the biggest challenge to any merger is that both companies are essentially family-controlled and must decide who will be the controlling party.

The merger will create one of the world’s largest copper producers with more than one million tonnes of output per year.

Gehl Foods sold to Chicago-based firm

American family-owned dairy producer Gehl Foods has been acquired by Chicago’s Wind Point Partners, an investment firm focussed on mid-size companies.

Gehl Foods is a producer of dairy products, with sales of nearly $250 million last year. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but David Stott, principal at Wind Point Partners, said he has the utmost confidence in the company.

"Wind Point's investment in Gehl Foods reflects our belief in the company's continued growth potential following the outstanding track record and significant investments in technology and people under Katherine Gehl's leadership," Stott said, adding that the management team will remain in place.

Gehl Foods was founded in 1896 as a three-room creamery on Main Street in Germantown, Philadelphia, and is a producer and distributor of dairy products, including cheese sauces, puddings and nutritional and protein beverages.

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