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FB Roundup: Europa-Park, Grupo Bimbo and Kering

By James Beech

Europa-Park founder Roland Mack measures success in succession

The founder of Germany´s largest theme park has praised his family and hailed the importance of good governance and succession planning as he celebrates his 70th birthday this week.

Decorated engineer and entrepreneur Roland Mack and family have welcomed more than 120 million visitors to Europa-Park since he opened the sprawling multi award-winning €900 million ($992 million) resort in 1975. The Mack family through Europa-Park employ more than 4,000 employees, including 150 apprentices, and more than 10,000 indirectly employed people.

Mack Rides is one of the world´s leading manufacturers of rollercoasters, water coasters and other rail-operated attractions.

The Mack family accepted the Top Family Business Award at the CampdenFB European Families in Business Awards 2016.

The new septuagenarian said the Macks ran their business as a family foundation, with a clear governance structure independent of the family, but with managers who reported to the family. Financial responsibility stayed with the Macks.

In the run-up to his 70th birthday on 12 October, Roland paid tribute to his brother, Jurgen Mack, 61, and wife of 45 years, Marianne Mack, for the success of Europa-Park. Their sons Michael, 40, certified in business administration, and Thomas, 38, a certified hotelier, with Jurgen managed daily business operations. Roland’s daughter Ann-Kathrin, 29, an architect, contributed to the new hotel Kronasar and the new water world Rulantica, which opens on 28 November.

“The success of a company is also determined by how the transition to the next generation works, as good numbers are simply not enough,” Roland Mack said.

“I was fortunate enough to experience these nearly 50 years of work in good health. That is not a matter of course. I have decided almost everything in my life and I also want to decide for myself how the handover to the next generation goes.”

Daniel ServitjeGrupo Bimbo spends dough on British bagels

Mexican third-generation family bakery business Grupo Bimbo has continued its push into Europe with the acquisition of Mr Bagels in the United Kingdom.

The UK wing of the world's largest bakery business acquired the private-label manufacturer Mr Bagels in August, for an undisclosed sum, but the deal was announced this week. Mr Bagels was a private label European bagel manufacturing business, employing 60 staff with a turnover of £4 million ($4.9 million).

In 2014, Grupo Bimbo UK bought the New York Bakery Co from New York native Broney Gadman, who started his bagel-making business in the UK in the 1990s.

British family bakery business Warburtons launched its range of bagels in April with an advertising campaign fronted by actor Robert De Niro.

Cliff Irwin, managing director of Grupo Bimbo UK, said consumer demand for bagels continued to rise, especially in Europe.

“Our intention is to further invest in the Mr Bagels site to increase its capacity and product range as the UK and European bagel markets continue to grow,” Irwin said.

“When this investment is completed we would expect to be creating new jobs at the Mr Bagels site to match those ambitions.”

The late Lorenzo Servitje, together with four business partners, founded Panificacion Bimbo in 1945 to make loaf bread. With his eight children, 24 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren, several Servitje descendants have worked for Grupo Bimbo. His son, Daniel Servitje (pictured), 60, is the chairman and chief executive.

The $15 billion company based in Mexico City employs 138,000 staff, owns more than 100 brands and sells 13,000 products in 32 countries.

Grupo Bimbo received the award for the Company with the Best Reputation in the country and the Food Company with the Best Reputation Merco Companies and Leaders Mexico 2019 ceremony in August. Daniel Servitje was again recognised as the Most Trustworthy Leader with the Best Reputation.

Pinault and Arnault families give $330 million to Notre Dame restoration

The three wealthiest business families in France are making good on their promises to help repair Notre Dame Cathedral six months after the blaze.

Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH and France’s richest man, finalised their initial €200 million ($219 million) pledge with the Notre Dame Foundation in late September. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the family’s LVMH Group put all its teams, including creative, architectural and financial specialists, at the disposal of the state and authorities to help reconstruction and fundraising.

Not to be outdone, Francois-Henri Pinault (pictured) and his father Francois Pinault, founder of rival Paris-based luxury group Kering, signed an agreement to donate €100 million ($110 million) at the Archdiocese of Paris last week, also backing up their pledge in the aftermath.

The Bettencourt Schueller Foundation established from the L'Oreal fortune also promised €200 million.

Billionaire donors were criticised in the intervening months for not backing up their promises with hard cash. However, the Pinaults gave more than €10 million in emergency funds in June following an appeal from the Notre Dame Foundation.

Francois Pinault said they hoped declaring their donation publicly would encourage others to contribute as well.

“It is certainly vulgar to make a gesture and then promote it, but the idea was to generate others,” he said.

Francois-Henri Pinault has been chairman and chief executive of Kering Group since 2005. Francois Pinault is honorary chairman of the group which owns fashion brands Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci. Francois founded the family’s holding company Artemis in 1992, which has the controlling 41% share of Kering. Artemis manages consolidated assets of more than €30 billion ($33 billion), including the auction house Christie’s and Chateau Latour vineyards.

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