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Family Business Roundup: Lippo Group, Holcim and Lafarge, and Nintendo

Indonesia’s Lippo Group partners on world’s biggest data centre; Holcim and Lafarge launch combined company; and Nintendo’s first non-family CEO dies

Indonesia’s Lippo Group partners on world’s biggest data centre

Indonesian real estate company Lippo Group, owned by the Riady family, has partnered with Japan’s Mitsui & Co to build what could be the world’s largest data centre, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Located in Indonesia's Cikarang district, the data centre will consist of three buildings with a total floor space of 40,000 square meters and will capitalise on the growing demand for data centres in Indonesia.

“Anticipating high demand from the market, especially in the financial and industrial sectors, we’ve prepared as much as 20,000 server racks servers, which will make us one of the biggest collocation data centres in the world,” Richard Kartawijaya, the president director of GTN, told the Globe.

The first stage of development will see 8,000 server racks in the first data centre building and will require an estimated investment of between $25 million and $30 million.

The Lippo Group was founded in 1990 and posted revenues of $716 million in 2013. It is one of the largest property developers in Indonesia and controls in excess of $15 billion in assets. 

Holcim and Lafarge launch combined company

Swiss family-owned cement maker Holcim and French counterpart Lafarage officially launched their combined building materials company this week after overcoming a slew of regulatory challenges and shareholder disagreements.

LafargeHolcim Ltd hit stock markets with a market capitalisation of approximately 41 billion Swiss francs ($42.9 billion), with the incoming chief executive Eric Olsen committing to the projected savings of €1.4 billion ($1.52 Billion) announced in an earlier address.

The new company has combined sales of 33 billion francs and operates in 90 countries, making it the largest building materials company in the world. The merger will give LafargeHolcim a significant advantage over competitors in a struggling market.

Holcim, controlled by the founding Schmidheiny family, had net sales of $20.8 billion in 2014. Lafarage had net sales of $16.9 billion in 2013.

Nintendo’s first non-family CEO dies

Satoru Iwata, the first non-family CEO of Japanese video game maker Nintendo, has died of cancer at the age of 55.

The highly revered figure launched Nintendo’s hugely successful Wii and Nintendo DS consoles a decade ago and drew in audiences beyond the traditional gamer.

Iwata’s death comes at a critical juncture for the Kyoto-based company, which is breaking away from its consoles-only strategy and taking steps into the growing mobile gaming market. 

Nintendo’s sales more than tripled to Y1.8 trillion ($165 billion) under Iwata in the 2008-2009 financial year from 2002, according to the Financial Times. But its sales have once again slumped as a result of cheaper mobile games and slow adoption of their newest console.

Iwata underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his bile duct last year and was thought to be recovering. His sudden deterioration has come as a shock to many in the gaming sector and a number of high-profile voices have spoken out to praise the Nintendo figurehead’s leadership.

The former programmer took control of the company from Hiroshi Yamauchi, the fifth-generation family member who led the company for 53 years, in 2000.

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