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Family Business Roundup: Busch, Realia, and WalMart

By Michael Finnigan

Family-owned Busch raises stake in Pfeiffer Vacuum

German vacuum pump maker Busch, owned by the eponymous family, has increased its stake in rival Pfeiffer Vacuum to 27.2% from 15%, according to a company statement.

Busch had bought the 15% stake in Pfeiffer in a surprise move last month as it seeks to expand its reach within the market.

"We are happy that the opportunity arose to significantly increase our holding so soon after our initial investment," Sami Busch, one of Busch's five managing partners, said in a statement.

Busch was founded in 1963 in Maulburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, where the main German manufacturing facility and the German sales organisation are located.

The company does not release revenue figures.

Slim names close associate as CEO of Realia

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has appointed a new CEO to Spanish property group Realia as he seeks to insert trusted allies into leadership positions.

Gerardo Kuri Kaufman, chief executive officer at Slim's real estate firm Inmobiliaria Carso, was appointed CEO last Friday. He has been a member of Realia's board of directors since February 2015.

The news hits three days after Realia appointed trusted Slim adviser Juan Rodriguez Torres as the company's non-executive chairman.

Kauffmann also is a member of the board of directors of Barcelona-based construction group FCC, which holds a 36.8% stake in Realia.

Since becoming the largest shareholder of FCC last year, Slim has inserted trusted allies to serve in the group's subsidiaries.

Slim holds a 25.1% interest in Realia, which it acquired from Spanish bank Bankia.

WalMart stock tumbles following drop in annual profit

Walmart, the supermarket chain controlled by the Walton family, suffered its worst stock decline in more than 27 years after it revealed a drop in annual profit.

The world's biggest retailer said sales growth would fall flat for the fiscal year, and blamed wage rises and intensifying online competition for the results.

Chief financial officer Charles Holley said Walmart's plans to raise hourly wages accounted for 75% of the lower earnings target. In February, WalMart said it would give a pay rise to more than 40% of its workers at the cost of $1.2 billion.

The second-generation family business expects earnings per share to increase by 5% to 10% by 2019, and some media outlets have questioned whether now might be the time to purchase shares.

Walmart had revenues of $482.2 billion in 2014.

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