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FB Roundup: Barclay, Tse and Galeries Lafayette

Barclay brothers put Telegraph newspaper up for sale, Sino Biopharmaceutical founder transfers wealth to 24-year-old son and Galeries Lafayette to open 10 new stores in China by 2025

Barclay brothers put Telegraph newspaper up for sale

The UK’s billionaire Barclay brothers have put the Telegraph newspapers up for sale as they review their family empire.

Sir David Barclay and his identical twin Sir Frederick (pictured left) have owned the media group since 2004, but were said to be eyeing a sale as a part of a wider break-up of their sprawling network of interests, according to The Times.

Aidan and Howard Barclay, the sons of Sir David responsible for the day-to-day running of the businesses, are reportedly evaluating the family’s businesses on behalf of their father and uncle, which included London’s Ritz and Monaco’s Mirabeau hotels, The Spectator magazine, online retailer Shop Direct and delivery company Yodel.

The news came a week after Telegraph Media Group’s pre-tax profit slumped 94% last year to £900,000 ($1.5 million), in the midst of a plan to turn the company into a business based on digital subscriptions.

There were also reports the family received offers of about £800 million ($1.25 billion) for the five-star Ritz Hotel in London, which they bought for £75 million ($96 million) in 1995.

According to the hotel’s latest financial filings, profit before tax dipped to £7.9 million from £12.8 million the year before.

Sir David and Sir Frederick are believed to be worth $5.1 billion, according to Forbes. They live in Brecqhou, in the Channel Islands and were knighted in 2000 for their support to charities and medical research.

Sino Biopharmaceutical founder transfers wealth to 24-year-old son

Sino Biopharmaceutical’s billionaire founders and executive directors Tse Ping and Cheng Cheung Ling have transferred about one-fifth of the company’s share capital to their graduate son as a gift.

Eric Tse (pictured), 24, now owns 2.7 billion shares, or 21.45%, of Sino Biopharmaceutical (SB), a Hong Kong-based medicine investment holding company. Bloomberg estimated the shares are worth $3.8 billion, making him one of Asia’s richest people overnight.

In a statement, the company said Tse’s parents transferred the shares to “refine the management and inheritance of family wealth” and planned for Tse to “hold the relevant shares in the long-term”. It added Tse’s new status would “not have any material impact on the business operations of the company”.

In a separate statement, the company announced Tse had become the company’s executive director and member of the company’s executive board committee, with an annual salary of $498,000—not including bonuses.

Tse first joined the company as an assistant to the president in June 2018. His parents now own 15.62% of SB. Tse appears as director on at least five other company boards in Hong Kong, including Charoen Pokphand Skyland Group—a company named after the conglomerate of Thailand’s richest family.

Tse Ping, Tse’s father, who was previously a national committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference—China’s top political advisory body—will remain as president of SB. The company, which was founded in 1997, posted sales of $3.5 billion in 2019.

Galeries Lafayette to open 10 new stores in China by 2025

Family-owned French department store chain Galeries Lafayette will expand its operations in China with 10 new high-end stores by 2025.

The company, which announced its expansion plan at the opening of its second China store in Shanghai’s Pudong district, said the move was driven by Chinese consumer spending, which accounted for 20% of sales in France.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Nicolas Houze, chief executive of Galeries Lafayette and great-great grandson of founder Theophile Bader, said China was a great opportunity for the company.

“It will be hard for us to expand a lot more in France,” Houze said.

“China is now, more than ever, a strategic market for Galeries Lafayette and core to our international expansion strategy.”

The company, which generated about $4.9 billion last year said it believed China sales would account for 15% of its overall sales by 2025.

Galeries Lafayette made its entry into the Chinese market in 2013 with its flagship Beijing store offering a range of luxury brand and niche fashion labels.

Galeries Lafayette was opened in 1895 by Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn. After purchasing its main building at 1 rue La Fayette and commissioning two famous architects to design the store, Bader expanded the store into a luxury department store, which now operates in a number of other locations in France and internationally.

Ginette Moulin, the granddaughter of Bader is the chairwoman and majority shareholder of Galeries Lafayette, while her brother Philippe and father of Nicolas is group chairman.

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