N&Q: Dr Oetker sells unit to family biz; Time Inc rejects bid from investment group; family office targets Chicago icon


Edgar Bronfman, Jr. and Len Blavatnik make $18 billion bid for publisher

Time Inc has rejected a buyout offer by an investment group led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr, a member of the family who previously owned the huge Canadian drinks group, Seagram. A report in Forbes says Bronfman through his private equity group Accretive was joined by investors Len Blavatnik, chairman of the private investment group Access Industries, and Ynon Kriez, a board of Warner Music Group, in the $18 billion buyout bid for the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune magazines. Bronfman is a controversial businessman because of his alleged role in bringing down Seagram when he was CEO of the group. As the Forbes article says: “the Bronfman family lost about $3 billion during the time that Bronfman, Jr. was Seagram CEO…” Bronfman has since been more astute with his investments – most notably with the purchase of Warner Music Group in 2004. He sold the group for $3.3 billion in 2011 to Blavatnik’s Access Industries.


Family office targets Chicago Stock Exchange

As part of a national review of a potential sale of a 49.5% stake in the Chicago Stock Exchange to Chinese investors, a family office has been named as one of the potential purchasers. A report on the China Daily website says Raptor Group, the family office of former hedge-fund manager Jim Pallotta, is one of the proposed owners, along with a group of Chinese investors. The bid is currently under the review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which must approve the transaction. Founded in 2009 by the former vice chairman of the hedge fund Tudor Investment, Raptor is a big investor. Its most notable holding is a stake in the Italian football side Roma, but Raptor also has stakes in many consumer, technology, and financial businesses.


Dr. Oetker to sell shipping division to Maersk

Dr. Oetker, the fourth generation family business best known for its food brands, is to sell its shipping business, Hamburg Süd, to the Danish family-controlled shipping company, Maerk. According to a report in the Frankfurt Allgemeine, Hamburg Süd is the seventh biggest container shipping company in the world, but has suffered as a result of a deep crisis in the sector. The deal is expected to be finalised at the end of 2017, say reports.