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September 22, 2015

Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has admitted it deliberately tampered with thousands of its cars’ emission testing software to deceive US environmental authorities.

Family-controlled carmaker Volkswagen has admitted it deliberately tampered with thousands of its cars’ emission testing software to deceive US environmental authorities.

It faces an initial fine of $18 billion for the 11 million cars affected, equivalent to its net annual profits, but if further investigations find the rigging is more widespread this could rise.

The German carmaker posted revenues of €197 billion in 2013.

September 16, 2015

L.L. Bean, the All-American fashion retailer based in Maine, has closed its 24-hour flagship store to remember third-generation family member Leon Gorman, who died this month from cancer. The philanthropist and businessman was 80.

L.L. Bean, the All-American fashion retailer based in Maine, has closed its 24-hour flagship store to remember third-generation family member Leon Gorman, who died this month from cancer. The philanthropist and businessman was 80.

It is the third time the chain’s Freeport store has closed since its all-hours service started in 1951. The two other occasions were the deaths of US president John F Kennedy and the company’s eponymous founder, L.L. Bean.

August 28, 2015

New Zealand’s most successful jewellery chain will fall into the hands of the second generation in November, following a vote at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

New Zealand’s most successful jewellery chain will fall into the hands of the second generation in November, following a vote at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Michael Hill International launched in 1979, with one shop opened in Whangarei, a small city of just 54,000 people, but today has 300 stores across Australia, New Zealand and North America.

The jewellery business, which is now headquartered in Australia, last year had revenues of AU$505.6 million.

August 5, 2015

Third-generation New Zealand businessman John Todd has been farewelled in Wellington this week.

Third-generation New Zealand businessman John Todd has been farewelled in Wellington this week.

The former chairman of Todd Corporation died last Wednesday, aged 88, following a short illness.

Todd Corporation, New Zealand’s largest family business, dates back to 1884 and has interests in energy, property development, healthcare, telecommuncations, technology and wine.

According to local business publication The NBR, the family is worth NZ$3.16 billion.

July 27, 2015

Jeannette McNeil Cathy, widow of the founder of US family-owned fast food chain Chick-fil-A, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 92.

Jeannette McNeil Cathy, widow of the founder of US family-owned fast food chain Chick-fil-A, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 92.

In a statement, her son, second-generation chairman and CEO Dan T Cathy, said his mother was “the spiritual nucleus and encourager of our family”.

Cathy’s husband, S Truett Cathy, founded Chick-fil-A in 1946. Today the company remains privately owned and has revenues over $5 billion.

July 23, 2015

Indian family real estate business Lodha Group will be split into two entities to ease succession planning into the second generation – a strategy that is common in India, according to a family business academic based in the country.

Indian family real estate business Lodha Group will be split into two entities to ease succession planning into the second generation – a strategy that is common in India, according to a family business academic based in the country.

Lodha Group chairman and founder Mangal Prabhat Lodha plans to appoint his eldest son, Abhishek, 36, to the helm of the real estate business, while his younger son, Abhinandan, 33, will head a new financial services business.

July 8, 2015

When Riaz Currimjee, a member of one of the oldest and largest industrial family conglomerates in Mauritius, returned home for Christmas wearing a t-shirt with “Africa is the Future” emblazoned across the chest, many of his family thought he’d lost the plot. So when the 42-year-old announced he was going to focus his new private equity firm Surya Capital on the birthplace of mankind he got more than a few odd looks. 

It’s actually a little difficult to describe Surya Capital because in many ways my partners and I are trying to do something innovative and different, more akin to the 19th-century merchant bank, but in east Africa. Surya is a deal-by-deal principal investment firm, backed by a group of family offices and institutions. It is focused on high-growth markets in east Africa, including Ethiopia.

June 19, 2015

The Murdoch family likely had a considerable amount of discussion and debate about the succession of brothers James and Lachlan Murdoch to the helm of 21st Century Fox, a US family business expert says, and did well to keep those discussions contained.

The Murdoch family likely had a considerable amount of discussion and debate about the succession of brothers James and Lachlan Murdoch to the helm of 21st Century Fox, a US family business expert says, and did well to keep those discussions contained.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Rupert Murdoch was standing back as chief executive of the movie and entertainment studio, appointing his sons to top positions within the company, with James becoming chief executive.

June 12, 2015

Rupert Murdoch, the second-gen head of media empires 21st Century Fox and News Corp, has stepped back as chief executive of the former so his son James can step into the spotlight.

Rupert Murdoch, the second-gen head of media empires 21st Century Fox and News Corp, has stepped back as chief executive of the former so his son James can step into the spotlight.

The US media tycoon will remain chairman of both companies. James has been working as co-chief operating officer at the movie studio since last year.

His brother, Lachlan, who was last year appointed non-executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, will now be an executive co-chairman. He will move from Sydney to Los Angeles to take up the role.

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