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FB Roundup: CBS, Hermès, and Grosvenor

Moonves departure ends CBS/Viacom legal battle, Hermès share price rockets after strong half-year performance, and Grosvenor to build 30,000 homes by 2023
Shari Redstone, vice chair of CBS and president of National Amusements
Press Association

Moonves departure ends CBS/Viacom legal battle

The long-running legal battle over the fate of US media groups CBS and Viacom has ended with the ousting of CBS chairman Les Moonves.

Moonves (68), a 24-year veteran of the US media companies controlled by the Redstone family, departed as chairman, president and chief executive following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He denies the allegations.

Moonves had been driving the CBS board in a lawsuit against the Redstone family as CBS resisted efforts to merge with Viacom, a fellow US media giant 80% controlled by the Redstone family.

The Redstone family control National Amusements which is the parent company of CBS and Viacom.

Shari Redstone, CBS vice chairwoman, supported the merger as she believed a combined company could respond more “aggressively” to a challenging media and entertainment landscape.

National Amusements confirmed it had no plans to propose a merger of CBS and Viacom and agreed it will make no such proposal for at least two years after the date of the settlement.

Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to one or more organisations which support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace as part of the agreement.

Hermès share price rockets after strong half-year performance

French luxury maison Hermès has reported record first-half operating margins as it makes the most of winning control from LVMH in 2017.

The luxury goods maker, headed by sixth-generation family member Axel Dumas, reported operating income increased by 6% to reach €985 million ($1.14 billion) or 34.5% of sales.

In 2017, Hermès came out on top of a protracted battle for control of Hermès with LVMH head Bernard Arnault, who gave up his final shares in his rival company in favour of concentrating on Dior.

Under Dumas, Hermès’ growth has outstripped that of its rivals—last year sales increased by 9%—and this has helped to send its share price rocketing 24% in 2018 to €540.88.

Hermès reported 2018 first half revenues of €2.85 billion, up 11% at constant exchange rates.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to build 30,000 homes by 2023

One of Britain’s wealthiest landowners is to triple the size of its UK residential development business, targeting a portfolio of at least 30,000 homes within the next five years.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, owned by the Grosvenor family, aims to be the market leader for delivering large scale sustainable communities by focussing on progressive and high quality urban design innovations, which are sensitive to local communities and the environment.

Grosvenor has already built its pipeline of homes from 2,100 in summer 2017 to 9,300 today, with partners including a range of local authorities, corporate and private land owners.

The family’s best-known assets include some of London’s most exclusive properties in Mayfair, Belgravia and part of Oxford St, which it has managed since 1677.

Grosvenor Group, the parent company of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, posted one of its highest annual profits for 2017, with a healthy year in its Americas and Asia Pacific businesses offset by weaker performance in the UK and Europe.

The group, owned by its namesake family, recorded profits of £143.5 million ($200 million), an increase of 81% on 2016 and the second highest on record.

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