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Family Business Roundup: Aldi, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and Ting Hsin International Group

Asian billionaire becomes majority shareholder in forestry group Greenheart; Aldi to double amount of UK stores; and Taiwanese family business chair faces jail time

Asian billionaire becomes majority shareholder in forestry group Greenheart

Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, controlled by billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, has become a majority shareholder in forestry company Greenheart Group, purchasing 496 million shares for $44.65 million.

The Chinese logger has been considering investment since July, after former controlling shareholder Emerald plantation announced it was looking for a buyer.

Cheng Yu-tung is one Hong Kong’s most successful billionaires, with significant dealings in real estate. Family-owned Chow Tai Fook Enterprises controls publicly-listed New World Development.

As of January 2014, Forbes ranked him as the fifth richest person in Hong Kong with an estimated net worth of $15.5 billion.

Greenheart Group currently owns renewable softwood plantations in New Zealand and certified hardwood concessions and other interests in South America.

Aldi to double amount of UK stores

Discount supermarket chain Aldi, owned by the Albrecht family, will double the number of stores in the country, upping the current 500 to approximately 1,000, and include at least one apprenticeship position per store.

The £600 million project is expected to produce 35,000 new jobs.

The reclusive co-founder of the Aldi discount supermarket chain, Karl Albrecht, recently died in his hometown of Essen, Germany, at the age of 94.

Aldi does not post financial information but the Handelsblatt Business Daily estimates the supermarket has a turnover in excess of €50 billion per year.                   

Taiwanese family business chair faces jail time

Members of the Wei family, behind Ting Hsin International Group, now lengthy jail terms after it emerged that the group had been mixing cooking oil with animal feed oil and selling it for human consumption.

Ting Hsin International is the largest food and retail group in Taiwan.

Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year jail term for former chairman Wei Ying-chung, who has been accused of food-safety violations. 

The Wei family were once considered one of Taiwan’s success stories, having built up a small oil and grease company into a global conglomerate.

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