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Family Business Roundup: Rinehart, Grupo Mexico, and Hyundai

Gina Rinehart sells Fairfax stake, cites ‘bad decisions’; Grupo Mexico plans to sell stake in its railway business; and Hyundai’s Chung family raises $1.1 billion in stake sale

Gina Rinehart sells Fairfax stake, cites ‘bad decisions’

Australian mining second-gen Gina Rinehart has sold her stake in newspaper publisher Fairfax Media for A$306 million (€208 million), according to a press release.

Rinehart, who is the richest person in Australia, sold her 14.99% stake for 86.75 Australian cents per share. She said bad business decisions at Fairfax inspired her to sell.

John Klepec, chief development officer at Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, added: “A series of bad decisions made by the leadership team has instead increased the number of publication errors and reduced the company’s performance to cover news to standard.”

Rinehart bought into Fairfax in late 2010 as a way of boosting her influence in Canberra. Her relationship with the Fairfax board deteriorated after she refused to sign the company’s charter of independence.

The 61-year-old is the richest person in Australia with an estimated fortune of A$15.08 billion, according to Forbes.

Grupo Mexico plans to sell stake in its railway business

Mexican mining group and railway operator Grupo Mexico is aiming for an initial public offering of its railway business in the first half of the year, according to a senior executive.

The 73-year-old company said it was considering a public offering of about 15% of its rail unit and said the deal could net up to $660 million (€579 million).

Share prices at Grupo Mexico, owned by billionaire German Larrea, climbed the most in four years following news of the proposed deal.

The mining group has come under fire recently after a toxic leak in August, causing fourth-quarter net income to fall 21% to $413.3 million.

Hyundai’s Chung family raises $1.1 billion in stake sale

Hyundai Motor’s controlling family has sold $1.1 billion worth of shares in a logistics affiliate, as it seeks to avoid fines from a new scheme aimed at simplifying the structure of South Korea’s chaebol. 

Chung Mong-koo, Hyundai’s chairman, and his son Eui-sun, sold their 5.02 million shares in Hyundai Glovis for 227, 500 won (€181) per share, netting the duo $1.1 billion.

The sale comes as the South Korean government’s antitrust laws come into effect, which are aimed at simplifying the chaebol’s complex share structures.

The new laws impose fines on chaebol family members if they gain more than 30% profit from intragroup transactions.

The Chung family will remain the largest shareholder of Hyundai Glovis, although their stakes have been cut to 29.99% from 43.39%.

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