News round-up: Sika, Steinmetz, Reuben, Murdoch

The fate of Sika is now a matter for the courts. 

The fate of Sika is now a matter for the courts. 

Sika fight-back

A group of minority investors is trying to prevent the Burkard family from selling Sika, the Swiss engineering firm that they controversially decided to sell earlier this month. Although the family owns just 16% of the shares, it has 52% of the voting rights and accepted a $2.8bn offer from France’s  Saint-Gobain. The shareholders are challenging an article in Sika’s constitution says that a group that buys a third of the company doesn’t have to ask the rest of the shareholders before taking ownership.

Steinmetz fails to silence critic

Beny Steinmetz, the head of a family-owned Israeli conglomerate called BDGR, has failed in a bid to silence an NGO that has “concerns” about how his firm won the rights to Africa’s largest iron ore mining concession. Steinmetz tried to force Global Witness to reveal the information it holds about the way his firm won the rights to the mine, in Guinea, but the UK courts found in favour of the pressure group. Steinmetz argues that Global Witness’s interest in his firm’s dealing is part of a campaign by George Soros, who helps fund the group.

Reuben return

David and Simon Reuben, the British brothers who made billions in the Russian metals market in the 90s, have bought Goldman Sachs’ metal warehousing business. The brothers have been out of the metals business for some years and these days are best known for owning property, including 15 racecourses in the UK.

Ayala appointment

Continuity is key at the Ayala Group. the 300-year-old family-owned conglomerate just appointed Jose Teodoro Limcaoco as its new CFO, replacing Delfin Gonzalez Jr, who has come to the end of his five-year term. Limcoaco has worked for Ayala since 2000.

Murdoch double trouble? 

Rupert Murdoch has been riling people again. After congratulating his own tabloid, the Daily Telegraph, for its coverage of the Sydney cafe siege. Most were shocked that it had wrongly linked the perpetrator to ISIS. Meanwhile, an Australian gossip columnist claimed that on a recent trip to Sydney Murdoch had hired a body double, and was seen with four personal bodyguards instead of his usual two.