Pharma Family hits FTSE
Hikma Pharmaceuticals, a firm founded by Samih Darwazah in 1978 in Jordan and since 2007 run by his son Said, has joined the FTSE 100 in the latest quarterly shake-up of the index. The acquisition of US-focused Bedford Laboratories from German family-owned firm Boehringer Ingelheim last year has caused its share price to increase by 25% since January. Hikma has a market capitalisation of £4.9bn and is one of just four drug-makers on the blue chip index.
It was only a few weeks ago that the world was gripped by the macadamia nut fiasco that saw Korean heiress Heather Cho jailed. Now it is the turn of Conrad Hilton III, heir of the hotel chain and brother of the infamous Paris, to have a spot of plane-related bother. According to reports he had a meltdown on a transatlantic flight last July, attacking staff, smoking drugs, and calling fellow passengers “peasants”. Then he passed out. In court this week he pled guilty to assault, which will reduce his sentence. He was facing a maximum of 20 years in jail.
One of China’s richest men, property tycoon Wang Jialin, this week gave an interview to state television to defuse a scandal following his son Wang Sicong’s admission that he would like a “buxom” girlfriend. The comment – made on social media – caused an outcry in conservative China. “Buxomgate”, as the affair was dubbed, culminated in a 1,287-word denunciation by the state news agency Xinhua. Wang Sr blamed his son’s “Western style of thinking” formed by year studying overseas, and mused: “Maybe after spending five or eight years in China, he will truly become Chinese.”
The court case surrounding the fall from grace of Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man until his mining business collapsed, was already pretty lurid. It became more so when it emerged that the accused’s Porsche Cayenne was discovered in the garage at the judge’s flat. “As I wished the car to remain in good condition, I took it to a covered parking spot,” the magistrate explained. “I didn’t take it to use it, only to store it.” Batista’s girlfriend claims a Range Rover was also similarly stored.