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FB Roundup: Lego, Ferrero, and Footasylum

Lego heir steps down to make way for the next generation, Ferrero to buy Kellogg’s brands in $1.3 billion deal, and JD Sports to acquire Footasylum in £90 million deal

Lego heir steps down for fourth-gen son to step up

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former chief executive of Danish toymaker Lego Group and grandson of founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, is stepping down from the board to make way for the next generation.

Kristiansen (pictured), 71, announced he would quit Lego’s board next month in line with the company’s succession plan, leaving his son, Thomas, as deputy chairman. Thomas is the fourth generation to lead the company.

“For several years we have been preparing carefully for how we wish to continue to maintain active family ownership across generations,” Kristiansen said.

“Now, the time has come for the next step.”

Kristiansen will remain as chairman of the family’s investment company Kirkbi.

Thomas has been groomed to take over the company for the past 15 years. He first joined the board as an observer, then as a director in 2007. He then took over as deputy chair and head of Lego Foundation charity in 2016.

Ferrero to buy Kellogg’s brands in $1.3 billion deal

Family owned confectionary giant Ferrero has agreed to acquire cereal maker Kellogg’s fruit and snack brands for $1.3 billion.

Under the deal, Ferrero will acquire a portfolio that includes Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother’s and Murray cookies, as well as Little Brownie Bakers. Other brands include fruit flavoured snacks Stretch Island and Fruit Snack, and Keebler’s ice cream cones and pie crust products.

In a joint statement the companies said the businesses Ferrero will acquire generated sales of about $900 million in 2018, and the all-cash transaction is expected to close by the end of July. As part of the deal, Ferrero will acquire six US manufacturing facilities, plus a leased facility in Baltimore.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of deals for chief executive and third generation family member Giovanni Ferrero (pictured). In the past two years he has built up the company's US foothold, buying Ferrara Candy for $1 billion, and Nestle's US sweets business for $2.8 billion.

JD Sports to acquire Footasylum in £90 million deal

UK sports retailer JD Sports has announced it will acquire family owned Footasylum in a deal worth up to £90 million.

The sportswear chain agreed to pay £82.5p per share for the footwear retailer, and the deal is expected to be completed in April or May, according to the companies. Footasylum management has agreed to the offer, but the deal still requires shareholder approval.

JD Sports said the two businesses would complement each other and would give Footasylum access to a slightly older audience. Footasylum has previously aimed its sportswear and trainers at 16 to 24-year-olds.

Footasylum was founded in 2005 by David Makin, one of the two co-founders of JD Sports, and is run by Makin’s daughter Clare Nesbitt (pictured). Under the deal, Nesbitt, and her siblings Thomas Makin and Amy Mason are expected to receive £50 million from the sale of their shares to JD Sports.

Family owned Pentland Group, headed by Stephen Rubin, owns a majority stake in JD Sports.

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