News round-up: Koch, Pinault, Cho, Glazer, Mars

Taxing times

Family-controlled firms Koch Industries, Fiat and IKEA are among the businesses caught up in a scandal about so-called “sweetheart deals” in Luxembourg. It appears they paid very little tax on businesses registered there while European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker was prime minister. However, others point out that these firms may have simply delayed paying tax.

 

Gucci changes tack

It’s all change at Gucci, the firm which accounts for half the revenue of the Kering luxury brands group owned by France’s Pinault family. The CEO and creative director - Patrizio di Marco and his partner Frida Giannini - are both leaving. The luxury industry is experiencing upheaval at the moment as Chinese demand has fallen, and customers turn from big-name luxury brands for less-known ones. Big luxury groups such as Kering and LVMH are looking to buy niche producers.

 

Cho goes over nut rage fiasco

Heather Cho, the Korean Air executive who had her plane diverted after she objected to the way her macadamia nuts were served, quit all her jobs in the family’s Hanjin group after a global outcry. Her father Cho Yang-ho took the blame, saying: “Everything is my fault... I failed to properly educate my daughter."

 

Glazer Jr sells up

The son of Malcolm Glazer, the American billionaire who bought Manchester United football club in 2005 but died earlier this year, is to sell a chunk of his shares in the business. Edward Glazer is expected to pocket $45m from the sale. The Glazer ownership has proved controversial as they loaded the club with debt, which currently stands at £362m.

 

Mars goes to Saudi

Fourth-generation family-owned chocolate maker Mars has opened its first factory in Saudi Arabia, which will mostly make Galaxy bars - the nation’s favourite brand. Mars says that it plans to expand the range, and hire more staff as production increases. Mars already has factories in Egypt and Dubai.