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Family Business Roundup: Samsung, Gutsche, and Dalian Wanda

By Michael Finnigan

Samsung announced $2 billion share buyback scheme

Family-owned chaebol Samsung has announced a $2 billion share buyback plan following calls from investors to improve returns.

The largest smartphone maker in the world said it would buy back 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferred shares – the second-largest buyback in the firm's history, according to Reuters.

The news comes as Samsung faces its worst annual profit in three years, caused by falling market share in its smartphone business and the ailing health of patriarch Lee Kun-Hee.

However, his heir apparent Lee Jae Yong revealed $8 billion in proposed deals this week, leading to a 5.8% increase in share price.

Samsung Group posted revenues of $208 billion in 2013. They account for approximately one third of the global smartphone market.

African family business secures stake in new Coca-Cola operation

The South African Gutsche family, Coca-Cola and brewer SABMiller have agreed to combine their soft drink bottling operation in South and East Africa to create a company with $2.9 billion in revenue.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will be headquartered in South Africa, with SABMiller owning the lion's share of the new company at 57%, while the Gutsche family and Coca-Cola will take a respective 31.7% and 11.3%.

The Gutsche family was already a main shareholder in another South African bottler, Coca-Cola Sabco.

The new companies will process volumes of 729m unit cases, equivalent to 41m hectolitre, and serve 12 countries.

Phil Gutsche, chairman of Gutsche Family Investments, will head the new company.

Dalian Wanda seek approval for $6 billion IPO

Chinese real estate developer Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, wholly owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, requested permission on Monday from Hong Kong's stock exchange for an initial public offering.

The listing could be larger than $6 billion if the company decides to sell more shares.  

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties is a unit of the Dalian Wanda Group, which was founded as a real estate company in 1988, but has since diversified into a number of areas including hotels, cinemas and department stores.

The IPO may make Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, the richest person in China.

Dalian Wanda Commercial currently operates more than 100 shopping plazas and 60 five-star hotels.