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FB Roundup: JAB, Rolling Stone, and Dolby estate

JAB on coffee spending spree, Rolling Stone founder sells up, and Dolby family make record £85m donation to science.

JAB on coffee spending spree

German giant JAB Holding Company is on a caffeine spending spree, while fellow family coffee business Lavazza diversifies into on-demand video.

Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), a subsidiary of JAB, which in turn controls the Reimann family’s assets, has made a cash offer for the issued ordinary shares of OldTown, a Malaysia-based halal coffee chain.

In a statement, JDE described the company as “one of Asia’s leading coffee manufacturers and operators of café outlets”, saying it would pay RM3.18 per share ($0.79), or a total aggregate consideration of about $366 million.

JAB has spent more than $30 billion on café assets over the last five years, including Caribou Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and Panera Bread.

Meanwhile, the family behind Italian competitor Lavazza has bought 25% of on-demand video platform Chili for €25 million ($30 million).

Lavazza’s annual revenue exceeds $1.77 billion. Other Chili investors include Sony, Paramount, Viacom, and Warner Brothers.

Rolling Stone founder sells up

The father-son team behind Rolling Stone magazine have sold their majority stake in the business to Penske Media Corporation, in a deal which valued the 50-year-old publication at $110 million.

Wenner Media, run by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, pictured, and his son Gus, was bought in a December deal by Penske Media, whose 22 other titles include Women’s Wear Daily and Variety magazine.

The elder Wenner started the iconic pop culture magazine in 1967 and will remain as editorial director and he and his son will join Penske’s advisory board.

But the deal will see an end to the Wenners’ direct investment in the business, given that they sold 49% to Asia’s BandLab Technologies in 2016.

Jay Penske, the son of car racing magnate Roger Penske, founded Penske Media in 2003.

He said in a statement his company’s interest in Rolling Stone was driven by “its people, its cultural significance, and the globally-recognised brand that has no peer in its areas of influence”.

Dolby family make record £85m donation to science

Cambridge University has received its second-largest donation in history, from the family of deceased sound engineer Ray Dolby.

Dolby’s estate gifted £85 million ($115 million) to the university, progressing the $2.7 billion redevelopment of its Cavendish physics laboratory, known as Cav III.

The university said the family’s gift was the largest-ever made to UK science, and the second made by Ray Dolby’s estate, following their $47 million offering in 2015.

The Dolby family is now the largest donor to the fundraising campaign, and the second-largest donor to the university in its 808-year history, following Bill Gates, who donated $210 million in 2000.

Dolby received his PhD from Cavendish in 1961. He went on to found Dolby Laboratories and completed ground-breaking work in noise reduction, surround sound, and audio signal processing technology. Dolby died in 2013, aged 80.

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