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Family Business Roundup: Heineken, Todd Corporation, and Maersk

Heineken eyes control of indebted Indian tycoon’s brewery; Todd Corporation renews acquisition attempt of Flinders Mines; and Maersk claims first drone delivery at sea

Heineken eyes control of indebted Indian tycoon’s brewery

Netherlands-based brewery Heineken is likely to ask Vijay Mallya, known as ‘India’s Richard Branson’, to step down from the board of United Breweries, according to Reuters.

Heineken currently holds a 42.4% stake in United Breweries, the largest brewer in India, and has reportedly lost faith in the entrepreneur, who owes creditor banks more than $1 billion.

Heineken acquired a 37.5% stake in United Breweries in 2008 through its takeover of Scottish & Newcastle. India accounts for 13% of world beer consumption, and annual growth is expected to outpace the global average.

Mallya inherited United Breweries at the age of 28 and led it on an ambitious expansion. 

Heineken is controlled by the eponymous family, and owns more than 250 beverage brands including Fosters, Amstel and Sol. It had revenues of $19.3 billion.

Todd Corporation renews acquisition attempt of Flinders Mines

Todd Corporation, the holding company owned by New Zealand’s wealthiest family, has launched a $31 million off-market takeover bid for iron ore hopeful Flinders Resources following a failed attempt last year

Despite a significant decline in iron ore prices, which has all but arrested merger and acquisition activity in the sector, the Todd family has offered Flinders shareholders 1.3¢ cash a share. The offer represents a 63% premium on shares.

Todd Corporation was founded in 1885 by Charles Todd as a wool-scouring company, a few years after the family immigrated to New Zealand from Scotland.

According to Forbes, fourth-gen John D Todd became the country’s first billionaire in 2001.

Maersk claims first drone delivery at sea

Danish shipping company Maersk Line, owned by the McKinney-Moeller family, claims it has made the first UAV delivery at sea.

Maersk used a rotary-wing UAV from Xamen Technologies to deliver cookies to the tanker Maersk Edgar off the Danish coast, according to a company news release.

"Costs for a barge are on average $1,000 and can be higher," Maersk said. "That means drone use could with the current payload bring potential savings of $3,000 to $9,000 per vessel per year."

"It’s a totally new step in delivery to vessels,” said Peder Georg Kastrup Christensen, the Maersk Edgar's captain. “Today it’s cookies. Another time it might be medicine which we need to treat someone on board.”

Maersk Line had revenues of $47.6 billion in 2014.

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