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February 28, 2012

It’s been a good week for three of Europe’s biggest family businesses, although Denmark’s Moller-Maersk Group has been hit by “voltatile markets”.

It’s been a good week for three of Europe’s biggest family businesses, although Denmark’s Moller-Maersk Group has been hit by “voltatile markets”.

German carmaker Volkswagen said revenues jumped 25.6% to €159.34 billion in 2011, from €126.88 billion in 2010.

February 27, 2012

Global volatility looks to be taking its toll on European family-run companies Merck and Fiat, which are respectively cutting jobs and considering closing plants to improve margins.

Global volatility looks to be taking its toll on European family-run companies Merck and Fiat, which are respectively cutting jobs and considering closing plants to improve margins.

German family business Merck, which operates in the pharmaceutical industry, plans to reduce its workforce “across all businesses and regions”, according to a statement.

January 31, 2012

The family behind German drugstore chain Schlecker has lost its multi-billion-euro fortune and will be unable to put in money to revive the family business.

The family behind German drugstore chain Schlecker has lost its multi-billion-euro fortune and will be unable to put in money to revive the family business.

That’s according to second-generation Meike Schlecker, who said in a statement that “there are no significant funds [with the family] anymore that could have helped the company”.

January 18, 2012

As the interminable death throes of Greece’s euro membership continue, discussion has centred on the uneasy relationship that the Greeks appear to have with truth and probity (And how this contrasts with the upright, scrupulously honest Germans). 

As the interminable death throes of Greece’s euro membership continue, discussion has centred on the uneasy relationship that the Greeks appear to have with truth and probity (And how this contrasts with the upright, scrupulously honest Germans).

November 30, 2011

A new study by consulting firm Booz & Co says that wealth managers in Switzerland could lose as much as €41 billion as a result of a tax crackdowns by the UK and German governments.

A new study by consulting firm Booz & Co says that wealth managers in Switzerland could lose as much as €41 billion as a result of a tax crackdowns by the UK and German governments.

Based on interviews with senior wealth management experts in Switzerland, the report also said that private banks will also lose around €1 billion in revenues as clients with offshore assets start withdrawing their money.

But some reckon that the tax treaties signed with the UK and Germany will benefit the Swiss financial sector in the long run.

October 26, 2011

One of Europe's biggest logistics companies is grooming the management skills of the sons of the two brothers who run the business. Rashmi Kumar asks whether the German company has struck upon the perfect succession plan.

Felix and Jens Fiege could easily be Europe’s poster boys of next- generation family business success.

Cousins Felix and Jens are the fifth generation of the Fiege family to work at the eponymous business, set up more than a century ago by their great-great-grandfather Joan Joseph Fiege in the small town of Greven in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

May 5, 2011

The Quandt family, who control the world’s best-selling luxury carmaker BMW, will be buoyed by the news that the German automobile company reported record sales for the first quarter of 2011, with operating profit rising four times to €1.9 billion.

The Quandt family, who control the world’s best-selling luxury carmaker BMW, will be buoyed by the news that the German automobile company reported record sales for the first quarter of 2011, with operating profit rising four times to €1.9 billion.

In a statement on 5 May, Munich-based BMW said that revenues for the first quarter increased by 28.9% to €16.03 billion, up from €12.44 billion for the same quarter last year. Its operating profit also quadrupled, with record sales across all its brands.

May 4, 2011

In a major new survey, Campden FB has compiled a list of the top 50 family business leaders in the world.

In a major new survey, Campden FB has compiled a list of the top 50 family business leaders in the world.

With the aid of four senior family experts from the world's leading business schools - Randal Carlock from INSEAD; Joachim Schwass from IMD; Kavil Ramachandran from Indian School of Business; and John Ward from Kellogg School of Management – Campden has sifted through loads of data to compile the final list. The top five places went to John Elkann, Azim Premji, Güler Sabanci, Guido Barilla and Ratan Tata.

March 28, 2011

Family-owned industrial group Schaeffler moved to bolster its financial strength, with the announcement on 28 March that it plans to increase its direct stake in car parts maker Continental, which it acquired in 2008, while also reducing its debt through the sale of shares.

Family-owned industrial group Schaeffler moved to bolster its financial strength, with the announcement on 28 March that it plans to increase its direct stake in car parts maker Continental, which it acquired in 2008, while also reducing its debt through the sale of shares.

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