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FB Roundup: Didem Ciner, Thierry Dassault, Vincent Bolloré

FB Roundup: Didem Ciner, Thierry Dassault, Vincent Bolloré
In this week’s FB roundup Turkey’s Ciner family abandons plan to float; Sonia Sarmiento Gutiérrez has died; Vincent Bolloré looks to open electric car battery factory; and Thierry Dassault plans to promote family members to board.
By Adrian Murdoch
Didem Ciner
Didem Ciner

Turkey’s Ciner family abandons plan to float on FTSE

It was expected to breathe life into the ailing Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE), indeed to be the first initial public offering of the year, but for the second time in two years, Turkey’s Ciner family has abandoned plans to list its soda ash firm WE Soda in London. 

It had pulled a previous attempt to float in June last year.

Used in the manufacture of glass, the world’s largest producer of natural soda ash had indicated that it intended to raise up to US$800 million on the equity markets by the end of the second quarter this year, according to financial news and data firm Mergermarket. 

That would have valued the company at US$8.5 billion according to newspaper reports. 

At the end of April, the company reported a 12% decline in netback revenue to US$1.26 billion thanks to what it said was weaker demand in all regional markets, loosening supply-demand balances and increased competitive behaviour. Sales for the same period slipped 3.1% to 4.91 million metric tonnes of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate combined. 

“Investors, particularly in the UK, remain extremely cautious about the IPO market and this extreme investor caution in London meant that we were unable to arrive at a valuation that we believe reflects our unique financial and operating characteristics,” chief executive Alasdair Warren told City A.M.

Didem Ciner is the chair of WE Soda. She is the wife of Turgay Ciner, the billionaire owner of the Ciner Group conglomerate, which operates in five main sectors: energy and mining, natural soda ash, glass and chemicals, maritime and shipping, and news and entertainment media. 

Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo
Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo

Sonia Sarmiento Gutiérrez, daughter of Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, has died

Sonia del Rosario Sarmiento Gutiérrez, the youngest daughter of Colombian billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo has died at the age of 65. She had been suffering from cancer for some time. 

She led Colombia’s entry into the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and supported the development of the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Cancer Treatment and Research Center (CTIC) in Bogota, one of the most important in Latin America. 

Political leaders across the country led by former Columbian President Ivan Duque sent messages of support to the family. “I deeply regret the death of Sonia Sarmiento Gutiérrez. My solidarity is with her whole family, especially her parents, Dr Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, and her mother, Fanny Gutiérrez de Sarmiento, her brothers Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, Adriana Sarmiento Gutiérrez, María Claudia Sarmiento Gutiérrez and Luz Ángela Sarmiento Gutiérrez; and, of course, her son Julio Rojas Sarmiento and his grandchildren,” Duque said, reported in Columbian newspaper LaRepublica.

Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo is currently the third richest person in Colombia, thanks to his position as majority shareholder and chairman of banking conglomerate Grupo Aval.

Vincent Bolloré
Vincent Bolloré

Bolloré looks to open electric car battery factory in France

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, chairman and chief executive of the investment group Bolloré, is weighing up the construction of an electric car battery factory in eastern France. 

The project would involve an investment of around €2.2 billion (US$2.4 billion) to produce the equivalent of 24 gigawatt-hours of batteries per year by 2040, according to French newspaper LesEchos

The intention is to open the plant by 2030 and the project could receive up to €500 million in subsidies. 

France is currently leading Europe’s efforts to set up a local electric vehicle supply chain to rival a market that is currently dominated by Asia. Ventures in the country include Automotive Cells Company which is owned by Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz Group, and a facility from startup Verkor in northern France. The Bolloré factory would develop solid-state lithium metal polymer batteries.

Founded in 1822, the Bolloré Group is among the 500 largest companies in the world. Publicly traded, it is still majority-controlled by the Bolloré family.

Vincent Bolloré’s net worth is estimated at US$9.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Thierry Dassault
Thierry Dassault 

Dassault to promote family members to board

Much like Bernard Arnault’s sons who, as we reported last week, have joined him on the board of luxury goods empire LVMH, French billionaire entrepreneur Thierry Dassault intends to promote family members to the board. 

According to a stock market filing, Thierry’s eldest son Vincent Dassault is expected to replace his cousin Adrien as director while his niece Aurélie Habert will join the board as representative of the holding company Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault. 

Bloomberg reports that Vincent will become the first of his generation from his father’s branch of the family to hold an oversight role in the conglomerate. 

Founded in 1929, the group is best known for its France-based real estate investment arm Immobiliere Dassault which holds both office and residential real estate properties in Paris – it holds two properties on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. But conglomerate interests include fighter and business jets via Dassault Aviation; Dassault Systèmes which develops software for 3D product design, simulation and manufacturing; the media group Groupe Figaro; French auction house Artcurial; and Dassault Wine Estates, one of the largest vineyard holdings in Saint-Emilion. 

The Dassault family has a net worth of about $36 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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