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Family businesses reap benefits of revival

Evidence of family businesses reaping the rewards of a revival in economic activity was indicated by two large payouts to family business owners this week.

Top on the list was Chile’s Luksic family, which will receive more than $700 million due to growth on the back of record prices of copper of its mining company Antofagasta. Bill Ford, fourth-generation chairman of Ford Motor, also has lucked out being paid a hefty dividend of $42 million for being instrumental in the company’s revival.

The Luksic family, which control 65% of Antofagasta, announced a special dividend of 100 cents after sales for 2010 rose by over 50%. The family said that it plans to invest the $700 million in the E Abaroa Foundation, the holding company through which it controls Antofagasta.

For Ford, the award of shares comes as a thank you for helping to bring the carmaker back from the brink of collapse. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company share price dropped to a low of $1 back in 2008-09. Under Ford’s chairmanship, the business has revived and the share price reached a peak of $19 this January; it now stands at around $14 (as on 9 March).

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