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Germany

February 24, 2011

Family-controlled German carmakers, Porsche and Volkswagen, announced on 23 February that their planned merger may not happen this year due to pending legal issues.

Family-controlled German carmakers, Porsche and Volkswagen, announced on 23 February that their planned merger may not happen this year due to pending legal issues.

The two carmakers had previously revealed plans to merge by the second half of this year, but unresolved legal issues relating to a failed takeover of VW by Porsche in 2008 are likely to delay the merger.

January 13, 2011

Turin and Wolfsburg might not have much in common at first glance, writes David Bain.

Turin and Wolfsburg might not have much in common at first glance, writes David Bain.
 
For one thing, Wolfsburg is in Germany and has a population of just over 100,000, whereas Turin is in Italy with nearly one million inhabitants. It's probably also fair to say that the temperament of each other's citizens might have little in common.  
 
But there is one thing that unites both of these towns – car making.
 

August 3, 2010

The worldwide recovery in consumer spending helped to bolster the earnings of Metro AG, one of the world’s biggest family-controlled retailers.

The worldwide recovery in consumer spending helped to bolster the earnings of Metro AG, one of the world's biggest family-controlled retailers.
 
Metro reported earnings before interest and tax for the six months to the end of June rising to €369 million, from €302 million a year ago. Sales rose 2.4% to €31.2 billion. Non-family chief executive Eckhard Cordes said in a statement that Metro plans to rise capital spending to €2.1 billion in 2011, up from €1.9 billion this year.
 

July 29, 2010

Theo Albrecht, the highly secretive co-founder of discount retailer Aldi, died on Saturday at 88.

Theo Albrecht, the highly secretive co-founder of discount retailer Aldi, died on Saturday at 88.

Aldi Nord, the company he headed for half a century, said in a statement that he had died in his hometown of Essen, Germany, but did not give the cause of death.

July 16, 2010

Tax raids by governments on private banks, such as the one on Wednesday by German investigators on Credit Suisse offices, are a short term move by governments to raise cash but do not address the underlying problems, according to one family office executive.

Tax raids by governments on private banks, such as the one on Wednesday by German investigators on Credit Suisse offices, are a short term move by governments to raise cash but do not address the underlying problems, according to one family office executive.
 

July 12, 2010

Banco Santander, the family-controlled banking group, announced today that it will acquire the German retail banking business of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB Group) for €555 million.

Banco Santander, the family-controlled banking group, announced today that it will acquire the German retail banking business of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB Group) for €555 million.
 
The acquisition adds 173 branches and around a million customers in Germany for Spain-based Santander. Family chairman Emilio Botin (pictured) said: "Germany is a core market for Santander. This acquisition is a significant step towards achieving our goal of being a full-service retail bank in Europe's largest market."

January 27, 2010

Germany has found a new way to celebrate its “Mittelstand” – its tradition of largely family-owned, not-so-small companies – and take a swipe at “casino capitalism” at the same time, writes Darrell Delamaide

Germany has found a new way to celebrate its "Mittelstand" – its tradition of largely family-owned, not-so-small companies – and take a swipe at "casino capitalism" at the same time.

Handelsblatt, the flagship newspaper of the family-owned Holtzbrinck publishing group, last week celebrated its second annual induction into the family business Hall of Fame, naming banker Friedrich von Metzler and industrialist Heinrich Weiss to a virtual pantheon of German family entrepreneurs.

September 1, 2008

The story of the summer has been family-owned Schaeffler’s takeover bid of Continental. Neil Sen has a look at what happened and what it means for the company

The story of the summer has been family-owned Schaeffler's takeover bid of Continental. Neil Sen has a look at what happened and what it means for the company

"You can't get along in this world by being nice to everyone," Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the head of the private, family-owned German engineering group Schaeffler, said in 2001 after her company's successful hostile bid for the much larger, listed company FAG Kugelfischer.

July 16, 2008

Car part manufacturer Continental has rejected family firm Schaeffler’s unexpected €12.2 billion bid, saying the offer is too low and the tyres-to-brakes company would gain nothing from a merger.

Car part manufacturer Continental has rejected family firm Schaeffler's unexpected €11.2 billion bid, saying the offer is too low and the tyres-to-brakes company would gain nothing from a merger.

Weekend reports of a potential offer were confirmed on Tuesday when Schaeffler revealed it had clandestinely stockpiled more than a third of Continental's shares via options organised quietly through banks.

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