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FB Roundup: CMA CGM, Koch brothers, and Bharti family

By Alexandra Newlove

CMA completes father-son transition

Rodolphe Saadé has taken over as chairman of container shipping firm CMA CGM, the business which his father founded and which made his family billionaires.

Lebanese-French businessman Jacques Saadé founded CMA container shipping in Marseille in 1978, later acquiring logistics company CGM. The Saadé family, worth an estimated $1.86 billion according to Forbes, own 75% of CMA CGM.

Rodolphe Saadé joined the family company, which also employs two of his siblings, in 1994.

He was made chairman of the board this week, following his appointment as chief executive in February, as his father incrementally steps away from day-to-day management of the group. The elder Saadé remains on the board as founder chairman.

Jacques Saadé said his son had the “full support of the board of directors, the management team and the 29,000 employees”.

CMA CGM also released its third quarter earnings as part of the announcement, with revenue of $5.7 billion, up 28% year-on-year.

This week the company also announced it would expand its trans-Atlantic programme, as competitor Seatrade withdrew its New Zealand to Europe route.

The new weekly service runs between Northern Europe, the US, Central America, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand.

Koch brothers in controversial takeover

The billionaire Koch brothers have bought a minority stake in Time Inc, one of the US's best-known publishers.

Charles and David Koch, worth in the vicinity of $80 billion, teamed up with media group Meredith to buy Time. The brothers' private equity arm contributed $650 million to the $2.8 billion takeover. Time Inc's magazine brands include Time, InStyle, Sports Illustrated, and People.

The deal has been controversial due to the brothers' alleged links to groups denying climate change and advocating against unions and workers' rights.

One former editor of Time, Charles Alexander, described the deal as like seeing his “life's work suddenly go down the drain”.

Meredith's shares rose 12% following the announcement.

The brothers head energy group Koch Industries, which turns over $115 billion annually. A spokesman for the company said the brothers were “passive” partners in the deal.

Bharti family donate 10% of wealth

India's Bharti family are donating 10% of their wealth to their charitable foundation, focused on educating children and eradicating poverty.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, the company which made the family fortune, said the decision to donate 7 billion rupee ($108 million) followed a family discussion at his 60th birthday.

Mr Mittal told The Hindu he asked seven members of the next generation—his own children and the four children of his two brothers Rajan and Rakesh—about what the brothers should pursue as they grew older.

He said he was “pleasantly surprised” when the children said they thought the money in a trust for them should instead be donated.

The pledge to the Bharti Foundation includes a 3% stake in Bharti Airtel, founded in 1995 by Mr Mittal and India's largest telco provider.

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