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FB Roundup: Alexander Soros, Ivan Glasenberg, John Catsimatidis

FB Roundup: Alexander Soros, Ivan Glasenberg, John Catsimatidis
In this week’s FB Roundup, George Soros hands control of his $25 billion empire to son Alexander; Ivan Glasenberg is set to buy Italian bike brand Pinarello; and John Catsimatidis aims to install himself as CNN’s new CEO.
By Glen Ferris
Alexander Soros

George Soros hands control of $25 billion empire to son Alexander
At the age of 92, billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros is officially handing over control of his $25 billion empire to his son Alexander (pictured), a 37-year-old history graduate and the second youngest of his five children.

The appointment was confirmed in an article published in The Wall Street Journal, with the elder Soros saying: “He's earned it.”

Currently the only family member sitting on the investment committee for Soros Fund Management, the firm tasked with managing the family wealth, Alex (as he likes to be known) confirmed that he aims to continue his father’s philanthropic work as chairman of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), as reported by the BBC.

George Soros, who has donated more than $32 billion of his personal wealth via OSF and has been hailed by Forbes as the “most generous giver” (in terms of percentage of net worth), has stated that the aims of Open Society Foundations – including free speech, criminal justice reform, minority and refugee rights and backing liberal politicians – would continue under Alex’s leadership. 

“We are going to double down on defending voting rights and personal freedom at home and supporting the cause of democracy abroad,” said the younger Soros, as he pledged to also focus on voting rights and abortion and gender equity initiatives in the future. “As much as I would love to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we will have to do it too.”

“Our side has to be better about being more patriotic and inclusive,” Alex Soros said to The Wall Street Journal. “Just because someone votes Trump doesn't mean they're lost or racist.”

Ivan Glasenberg

Ivan Glasenberg set to buy Italian bike brand Pinarello
Ivan Glasenberg, the South African billionaire and former chief executive officer of the world's largest commodity trading and mining company, Glencore, is set to acquire an 80% in the iconic Italian bike brand Pinarello.

The 66-year-old businessman, known for his love of fitness (he is a former champion racewalker for both South Africa and Israel and is a keen cyclist), has been in close talks to buy a majority share in the elite bike manufacturers, which is currently owned by investment firm L Catterton. 

The sale, which is valued at €250 million, follows an investment in Q36.5, the Italian clothing brand which sponsors pro-cyclist Doug Ryde and his team.

Pinarello was founded in Treviso, Italy, more than 70 years ago and is famed for its high-end carbon racing bicycles which have been ridden by more than a dozen Tour de France-winning teams. 

According to The Financial Times, “any takeover by Glasenberg would also include Fausto Pinarello in its plans, ensuring the family name remains embedded in the company’s prestigious 70-year history.”

John Catsimatidis

John Catsimatidis aims to install himself as CNN’s new CEO
American billionaire businessman, former New York mayoral candidate and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis is hoping to buy US-based media firm CNN and install himself as chief executive officer following the departure of former CEO Chris Licht.

Talking to the Washington Examiner, the 74-year-old said that “he was ‘outraged’ to learn of the ouster of Licht, who got pushback for allowing former President Donald Trump to have a town hall on the network.”

“What kind of business people are running CNN? It's crazy," said Catsimatidis referring to a huge spike in ratings following Trump’s recent televised town hall. 

The CNN bid is not the first time Catsimatidis has launched into the media world. In 2019, he purchased New York-based radio station WABC and went on to host a Sunday morning talk radio show, The Cats Roundtable, on the station. 

According to the Washington Examiner, “He said that he would model his stewardship of CNN on WABC, noting that the station has a ‘common sense’ approach to its programming.”

Worth an estimated $4.1 billion (according to Forbes) as owner of the Gristedes Foods grocery chain and the Red Apple Group real estate and aviation company, Catsimatidis confirmed he intends to reach out to CNN founder Ted Turner to kick off talks.

“I think I'm the only one that's accepted by both Democrats and Republicans, and I could put it together," said Catsimatidis, who has donated to both Republican and Democrat parties in the past and confirmed to the Washington Examiner that “he would commit significant amounts of money to getting a Republican elected president if President Joe Biden is on the Democratic ticket in 2024.”

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