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FB Roundup: Bosch, Nintendo, and Maersk

Lawyers Say Bosch colluded on Volkswagen emission scandal; Nintendo strengthens supply chain with Jesnet acquisition; and Maersk to cut fleet and crew

Lawyers Say Bosch colluded on Volkswagen emission scandal

German family business Bosch, one of Europe’s largest companies by revenues, has been accused of colluding with Volkswagen over the emissions cheating scandal in amended court filings.

Lawyers representing vehicle owners in the US claimed Bosch was an “active participant in a massive, decade-long conspiracy with VW” — a claim that signals a shift in focus for prosecutors after Volkswagen recently negotiated a preliminary settlement.

The court filings also suggested that Bosch provided software for “ingeniously designed defeat devices" and that they participated in a scheme to prevent US regulators from uncovering the device’s true functionality.

Despite Volkwagen’s settlement, the embattled carmaker’s future is still far from rosy: leading business valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance recently found that Volkswagen Ag was the biggest faller in the table this year. According to the report, Volkswagen's portfolio value dropped 36% to $42.2 billion in 2016.

Last year, Volkswagen—controlled by the Piech and Porsche families—lost €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) in what has been called its worst ever financial performance.

Nintendo strengthens supply chain with Jesnet acquisition

Japanese videogame maker Nintendo, owned by the sixth generation of the Yamauchi family, has purchased a 70% stake in console distributor Jesnet for $46.5 million.

In an official statement, the 127-year-old family business said Jesnet would become an official subsidiary and in future be responsible for the wholesale distribution of video game hardware. Nintendo is set to release a new console next year.

“This means that Nintendo will have an integrated system from the development through supply of its products, allowing for rapid decision-making and an improvement in sales service,” the company said in a statement.

“These steps are intended to strengthen the overall competitiveness of the Nintendo group and increase its corporate value.”

Nintendo was founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produced playing cards.

Maersk to cut fleet and crew

Danish shipping company Maersk Line, owned by the McKinney-Moeller family, is set to reduce its fleet by up to 20 vessels over the coming 18 months.

The reduction in its fleet is in response to limited trading opportunities and an oversupply of offshore supply vessel, according to a company statement. 

The 112-year-old family business added that the first 10 vessels are likely to leave the fleet in 2016 and could result in the redundancy of more than 400 crewmembers.

Maersk Supply Service chief executive Jørn Madsen said: “One of Maersk Supply Service’s prime objectives is to attempt to restore the supply demand balance in the offshore supply market. This is why the vast majority of the divested vessels will be recycled or modified by their new owners to compete outside their present segments.”

Controlled by the McKinney-Moeller family through a foundation, Maersk traces its roots to 1904 when it was set up by Arnold Peter Moeller. The firm had revenues of $40.3 billion in 2015.

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