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FB Roundup: King Frederik X, John Catsimatidis, Grifols family

FB Roundup: King Frederik X, John Catsimatidis, Grifols family
In this week’s FB Roundup, Frederik X becomes Denmark’s new king after Queen Margrethe II’s abdication; John Catsimatidis promotes his son to president of Red Apple Group; and Grifols family sue short-seller Gotham City Research over damaging report.
By Glen Ferris
King Frederik X
King Frederik X

Frederik X becomes Denmark’s new king after Queen Margrethe II’s abdication
Following Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s shock announcement that she would step down after 52 years on the throne – becoming the first Danish sovereign in nearly 900 years to do so – her son King Frederik X is now the head of Europe’s oldest monarchy.

The 55-year-old former crown prince was formally proclaimed king by the country's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in the Scandinavian country’s capital Copenhagen, officially marking the passing of power from his 83-year-old mother.

“My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow,” King Frederik X said in his first speech as monarch. “It is a task I have approached all my life. It is a task I take on with pride, respect and joy.”

The king and his new queen, the Australian-born Mary, 51, their children Prince Christian, 18 (who is the new heir to the throne), Princess Isabelle, 16, and twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent, both 13, were sent “best wishes” by Great Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camila.

“I look forward to working with you on ensuring that the enduring bond between our countries, and our families, remains strong, and to working together with you on issues which matter so much for our countries and the wider world,” said King Charles in a message, before paying tribute to “the many years of service” of Queen Margrethe.

The former monarch, who will retain her title as queen, announced her decision to retire on New Year’s Eve citing health reasons having undergone major back surgery last February. Her abdication comes 52 years to the day after Margrethe ascended the throne following the death of her father, King Frederik IX, in 1972.

Her voluntary abdication of the Danish throne is the first since 1146, when King Erik III Lam stepped down to join a monastery. The ancient Danish monarchical line can trace its origins to 10th-century Viking king Gorm The Old. 

John Catsimatidis
John Catsimatidis

John Catsimatidis promotes his son to president of Red Apple Group
American billionaire businessman, former New York mayoral candidate and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis has promoted his 30-year-old son to president and chief operating officer (COO) of the Red Apple Group, a media, real estate, fossil fuel and retail empire worth an estimated $7.3 billion, according to Forbes.

John Catsimatidis Jr. was previously Red Apple’s chief investment officer and has been working for the family firm for the past 12 years, having started while he was still studying at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“I’ve been around the business my entire life,” he said in an interview with The New York Post. “Every Sunday, my father would take me and my sister to the grocery stores to teach us about merchandising.”

John Catsimatidis Sr., who announced plans to buy US-based media firm CNN and install himself as chief executive officer last year, will remain CEO and chairman of Red Apple, the firm he launched 56 years ago.

“I thought it was time and the kid deserves it,” Catsimatidis Sr. said to The New York Post. “John has a tremendous amount of contacts and energy, let them go to him now… I’m still working seven days a week, but I’m spending more time on my hobbies.”

“I hope my daughter will rejoin the company and seek out those opportunities that she enjoyed,” Catsimatidis Sr. continued in reference to Andrea Catsimatidis, who stepped away from the family business to focus on politics.

Thomas Glanzmann
Thomas Glanzmann

Grifols family to sue short-seller over damaging report
Spanish multinational pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer Grifols has announced it will launch legal action against Gotham City Research, following a report published by the short-seller fund wiped $2.5 billion off the Barcelona-based firm’s market value.

Talking to Reuters, “board member Tomas Daga, who sits on Grifols’ audit committee and has advised it as a lawyer on several acquisitions, the lawsuit would seek compensation at least equivalent to the share price loss.”

Grifols’ shares dropped 2% but reversed to trade 7.4% higher later the same day after Gotham City questioned the pharma firm’s reported debt and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

In response, Grifols said it would “seek compensation in court for the financial and reputational damage to the company and its shareholders.”

In mid-2023, Grifols entered a new non-family-run phase of its 80-plus-year history with the appointment of current executive chairman Thomas Glanzmann to new chief executive officer.

The move marked an end to the founding family’s executive leadership following a period of turmoil. The Barcelona-based company, a producer of blood plasma-based products, was severely hit at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic due to plasma shortages. Struggling to recover since, the firm sought to cut its debt by laying off 8.5% of its workforce with the goal of saving $441.7 million annually.

Glanzmann, who had served as the company’s board vice chairman since 2017, was appointed to Grifols’ chairman in February 2023. 

Two family members of the company (which was founded by hematologist and scientist Dr Josep A. Grífols Roig in 1940) have remained in roles within the company - Victor Grifols Deu as chief operating officer and board member, and Raimon Grifols as board member and chief corporate officer.

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