News round-up: Santander, Market Basket, Polaroid, Adidas

Ana Botin. Image: World Economic Forum
Ana Botin. Image: World Economic Forum

Santander share issue has unexpected footnote

Ana Botin, the head of Santander since her father died and passed the reins to her at the end of last year, has been making more interesting decisions. Fresh from a clear-out of the board which ditched a few family members and old-timers, last week she decided the bank should increase its capital ratio to 10% and sold €7.5bn of shares, which were quickly snapped up. Analysts said this was a vote of confidence in Botin. But, as the family bought none of the shares, its ownership – which stood at about 2% – was further diluted.

Market Basket: The Movie

If there’s one thing people love, it’s a good family business feud story. And few are better than the Market Basket one, which has been bubbling away for years but came to a head last summer when one member of the Demoulas family, Arthur S, ousted his cousin Arthur T. Staff held rallies in support of Arthur T, and in December he took control of the company. Well, now you will be able to see a film about the saga, crowdfunded on Kickstarter. When fundraising ended this morning the $50,000 target had been exceeded.

Polaroid lives on

If anyone appreciates the value of a good name, it’s a family. And so it is fitting that Polaroid – the troubled camera-maker which went bust in 2001, and again in 2008 – has been bought by two family offices. The Pohlad Family Capital Fund, a single family office, and another unnamed family office paid $70m for 65% of the company.

70-year Adidas/Puma feud ends?

The nearly 70-year-old feud between German sportswear brands Adidas and Puma – founded by the Dassler brothers Adi and Rudolf, who fell out during the Second World War – could be coming to an end. The Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, where both are based, is severely divided between Adidas and Puma wearers, even though the brothers died many years ago. But now members of the town’s two boys’ footballs teams are training together, a shocking development, and rumours of a cease in hostilities are rife.