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FB Roundup: Schaeffler, Hyundai, and Lindt

By David Braham

Schaeffer prepares for initial public offering

German industrial group Schaeffler, owned and controlled by Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and her son Georg, has revealed plans to place 166 million new and existing 'non-voting' common shares with institutional investors.

According to the Financial Times, Schaeffler's public listing is part of a drive to reduce company debt, which spiralled out of control after the family business acquired German automotive company Continental AG in 2008.

Schaeffler said it plans to issue 166 million shares, of which up to 100 million shares will be sold by Schaeffler Verwaltungs GmbH, a holding company of the Schaeffler family, with a further 66 million shares expected from a capital increase.

Georg Schaeffler, shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board at Schaeffler, commented that the placement and listing is a milestone in the history of the company.

The company's deputy chairman and second family member Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann said “Schaeffler Group will remain a family business in the future”.

Schaeffler posted revenues of €12.1 billion ($13.5 billion) in 2014. 

Hyundai Motor's heir apparent lays groundwork for succession

Chung Eui-sun, the vice chairman and only son of Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo, has bought shares in the company worth about 500 billion won ($420 million) in a move that could lay the groundwork for succession.

According to a regulatory filing, the 44-year-old now holds about 1.4% of Hyundai Motor after buying 3.2 million shares from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

The third-generation business posted Hyundai posted revenues of 87.3 trillion won ($79 billion) in 2014.

Hyundai Motor is headed by 76-year-old chairman Chung Mong-koo, son of Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung. The Hyundai conglomerate split into two in the late nineties, with Hyundai Group being taken over by Chung's fourth son Chung Mong-hun.

Lindt's teddy bear beats Haribo's gummy in court battle

Lindt & Sprüngli, the Swiss family-run chocolate maker, has won a legal battle against German sweet maker Haribo after an attempt to stop them making and selling chocolate teddy bears.

Haribo, the former multi-generation family business founded by Hans Riegel in Bonn in 1920, claimed that Lindt had violated their trademark of its "Gold Bear" logo and argued that their products caused confusion for consumers.

According to the statement released by Lindt, the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne agreeing with Lindt & Sprüngli's interpretation of the law that the Lindt teddy in its current design is not an infringement of Haribo's rights.

In 2014, the 170-year-old chocolate maker had revenue of 3.4 billion Swiss Francs ($3.4 billion). The business is headed by sixth-generation family members Tomas and Milan Prenosil.

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