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FB Roundup: Subway, Madison Square Garden, Ab InBev and Sab Miller

Subway founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67; Family brewers eye $275bn mega merger; and Madison Square Garden to split entertainment and media businesses

Subway founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67

Fred DeLuca, the billionaire founder and president of American sandwich franchise Subway, died this week after a two-year battle with leukaemia. He was 67.

The second-generation Italian immigrant started small with his first sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. He called it Pete’s Super Submarines.

The franchise-based group is still privately held by DeLuca and his cofounder Peter Buck, and is today the world’s largest restaurant operator globally with more than 43,000 locations in 110 countries.

While the firm does not financial figures, Forbes estimated that it had revenues of $18 billion in 2012. DeLuca is thought to be worth $3.5 billion.

Earlier this year, he named his sister, Suzanne Greco, president to run Subway's day-to-day operations. The company has not said if Greco will take her brother's place as CEO.

Madison Square Garden to split entertainment and media businesses

The Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the New York Knicks and Rangers, has revealed plans to spin off its sports and entertainment business from its media operations.

The split will provide current Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) shareholders with shares in the sports and entertainment business with the deal due to be completed by the end of 2015.

MGS is owned by the New York-based Dolan family and is headed by second-gen James Dolan, who controls the company through Class B shares. He is the son of Cablevision founder Charles Dolan, who still serves as chairman of the precursor company.

Family brewers eye $275bn mega merger

Family-controlled brewer AB InBev, which produces brands such as Stella Artois, Budweiser and Beck's, has proposed a merger with the world’s number two brewer SABMiller - whose controlling shareholders include the Santa Domingo family from Columbia.

A quarter of AB InBev is controlled by three families. A trio of Belgium families, the de Spoelberghs, Van Dammes and de Meviuss, sold their family brewing businesses in return for large equity stakes, totally 28.6%, in AB Inbev - the world’s largest brewer. The Brazilian trio of Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Jorge Paulo Lemann and Marcel Telles control another 22.7% of ABInbev through their private investment office 3G.

The proposed merger, which would have to be signed off by a number of competition regulars, would create a ‘mega-brewer’ with a potential market capitalisation of $275 billion.

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