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December 23, 2013

Swiss family-controlled watch business Swatch has come out on top after a bitter legal dispute with luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co, winning $449.5 million (€328.6 million) in damages.  

Swiss family-controlled watch business Swatch has come out on top after a bitter legal dispute with luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co, winning $449.5 million (€328.6 million) in damages.

Swatch, controlled by the Hayek family, filed a claim with the Netherlands Arbitration Institute in 2011 over the termination of a contract between the two companies.

The following year Tiffany, a publicly traded company, filed a counter claim.

July 5, 2013

Five Guys, the US burger chain controlled by the Murrell family, has expanded to Europe, with the opening of its first restaurant in London on 4 July.

Five Guys crosses the Atlantic, while the Harmsworth and Germinder families have strengthened control over their respective businesses.

Five Guys
Five Guys, the US burger chain controlled by the Murrell family, has expanded to Europe, with the opening of its first restaurant in London on 4 July.

June 26, 2013

Family business should not be confused with small business in the US

Size matters in the US, which is home to some of the world’s biggest family businesses. The country’s five largest family-controlled firms – Walmart, Ford, Cargill, Koch Industries and Comcast – had combined revenues of $911.9 billion (€694.8 billion) in 2012, more than Indonesia’s GDP.

May 10, 2013

The Ford family has retained control over the eponymous automaker, despite a growing number of shareholders voting in favour of ending dual-class shares. 

The Ford family has retained control over the eponymous automaker, despite a growing number of shareholders voting in favour of ending dual-class shares.

At the company’s 58th annual meeting, 33.4% of shareholders, the highest tally ever, backed the proposal to end the class of shares that allows the family to control Ford Motor. Last year 29.5% voted against the company’s dual-share structure.

February 24, 2012

Two of the world’s largest family businesses had a mixed week. US retail giant Walmart saw profits drop, while Peugeot Citroen reportedly looked to team up with General Motors to better compete in the fiercely competitive European car market. 

Two of the world’s largest family businesses had a mixed week. US retail giant Walmart saw profits drop, while Peugeot Citroen reportedly looked to team up with General Motors to better compete in the fiercely competitive European car market.

Walmart, the supermarket chain controlled by the Walton family, said net profits for the year ended 31 January 2012 fell by 4.2% to $15.7 billion (€11.69 billion), from $16.4 billion the previous year.

February 23, 2012

Two family businesses operating in the US food industry have been sold – with the Guida family in Connecticut ending its involvement in dairy company Guida’s Milk and the Schweppe family in Illinois selling food service firm Schweppe.

Two family businesses operating in the US food industry have been sold – with the Guida family in Connecticut ending its involvement in dairy company Guida’s Milk and the Schweppe family in Illinois selling food service firm Schweppe.

Guida's Milk, which produces milk, cream and ice-cream mixes, as well as fruit juices, was sold to Dairy Farmers of America, a Kansas City-based co-operative, for an undisclosed sum.

September 28, 2011

The challenges facing family businesses not only differ between emerging and western markets, but even within each of these markets, according to a family business expert. 

The challenges facing family businesses not only differ between emerging and western markets, but even within each of these markets, according to a family business expert.

Jörg Ritter, co-head of the family business advisory division of executive search firm Egon Zehnder International, said that despite operating in similar developed markets, family businesses in Europe and the US have to deal with very different issues that affect their success.

August 23, 2011

The families behind carmakers Ford and Toyota are teaming up to develop fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, as the companies aim to increase their presence in the growing green-vehicle market.

The families behind carmakers Ford and Toyota are teaming up to develop fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, as the companies aim to increase their presence in the growing green-vehicle market.

A joint statement released by the American and Japanese automobile manufacturers said that a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the two companies, aimed at pooling together technology and know-how to co-develop a hybrid system for trucks and SUVs.

May 20, 2011

With philanthropy in the UK at its lowest level since the beginning of the financial crisis, the latest survey by JP Morgan Private Bank on ultra-high net worth individuals’ charitable habits hasn’t given much to cheer about.

With philanthropy in the UK at its lowest level since the beginning of the financial crisis, the latest survey by JP Morgan Private Bank on ultra-high net worth individuals’ charitable habits hasn’t given much to cheer about.

The survey, which questioned around 100 UK-based UHNW clients of the bank, revealed that around half of them give over 5% of their wealth to charity, while three-quarters give regularly to charitable causes.

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