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Family Business Roundup: Bechtel, Market Basket, and Samsung

Bechtel names 35-year-old as new chief executive; Family behind Market Basket grocery chain back in court; and South Korean court rules against Samsung merger suit

Bechtel names 35-year-old as new chief executive

Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest family businesses in the US, has named fifth-generation Brendan Bechtel as its new chief executive.

The 35-year-old will replace Bill Dudley, who became the first non-family CEO to run the business after Brendan’s father, Riley Bechtel, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago.

“I am delighted to announce these changes that further strengthen our company and puts in place a dedicated and experienced executive leadership team that will drive us forward as we continue to innovate, re-tool, and consistently deliver for our customers and colleagues,” said chairman Riley Bechtel.

He added: “This is a natural evolution in our company and the result of diligent succession planning and execution.”

Bechtel was founded in 1898 by cattle farmer Warren Bechtel. The firm posted revenues of $37.2 billion in 2014. 

Family behind Market Basket grocery chain back in court

Market Basket third-gen and former board member Arthur S Demoulas, who sold his stake in the US grocery chain in 2014, has rekindled a long-standing family feud with a new lawsuit.

The New England-based supermarket chain, which has annual revenues of $3.7 billion, became the target of staff-led rallies in 2014 after Arthur S Demoulas ousted his cousin, Arthur T Demoulas, in a board vote. The chain’s customers boycotted the firm and Arthur T eventually bought his cousin’s share of the business. 

According to The Boston Globe, Arthur S and his sister-in-law have now filed a lawsuit alleging they’ve been excluded from involvement in an IRS audit of the chain of 76 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, two years after they sold out of the business.

Market Basket was founded by Greek immigrants Arthur and Efrosini Demoulas in 1917.

South Korean court rules against Samsung merger suit

A South Korean appeals court has ruled that a contested merger between two Samsung Group affiliates last year had short-changed minority shareholders.

The Seoul High Court ruled that minority shareholders should receive a bigger payout, and said Samsung's de facto holding company, Cheil Industries, wilfully undervalued the share price at construction firm Samsung C&T.

Last year's merger was seen as crucial step for Samsung's founding Lee family in its effort to consolidate control of the conglomerate ahead of a generational transfer of power from ailing patriarch Lee Kun-Hee.

Third-generation Samsung, most famous for its consumer electronics business, was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938, and has made the Lee family one of the wealthiest in the world, with today’s family members worth a reported $12.6 billion (€9.3 billion). 

It had revenues of $170 billion in 2015.

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