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Case Studies by Morten Bennedsen

29 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 27 May 2016

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Media: print and online
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, had been a source of wealth, pride and prestige for the Bancroft family for much of the 20th century. From 1928 to 2007, the family lived off company dividends and left the day-to-day management of the publishing business to senior journalists who had worked their way up through the ranks of the WSJ. But in 2007, when Rupert Murdoch – whose global media empire dwarfed that of the Bancrofts – offered to buy Dow Jones at a generous premium, the family was split down the middle. To sell or not to sell? The case explores the events that led up to the dynasty’s exit and the grandiose entrance of an Australian-American media mogul onto the US media scene.

Keywords:
Dow Jones, Media Acquisition, Wall Street Journal, Class B Shares, Rupert Murdoch, Bancroft, Family Business, Dual Shareholding

published: 24 Mar 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Sale of food, beverages and tobacco via stalls and markets
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case highlights the infighting within a Thai family who own and operate a fresh-food market stall business in Bangkok. The case explores the depths to which the Thammawattana dynasty sank in order to keep control of a profitable cash-in-hand business that had made the matriarch, Suwapee Thammawattana, a billionaire by the time of her death at age 65.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to evaluate the importance for family businesses of having a long-term succession plan. Against the bloodstained backdrop of a family business in Thailand, students will learn about the challenges of succession in an emerging country. The case enables them to discuss the importance of cohesion among the members of a family business.

Keywords:
Thailand, Family Business, Thammawattana, Ying Charoen, Market Stalls, Linacre, Porntip, King Bhumibol, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Women in Family Business, Gender

published: 25 Jan 2016

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Automobile
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
In 2008-09, Toyota Motor Corp. became engulfed in a perfect storm: oil prices spiked, the global financial crisis brought car loans to a halt, the dollar tanked against the yen, and millions of Toyota vehicles in North America were recalled. Toyota posted its first ever loss since 1950. The case describes how Akio Toyoda, scion of the dynasty behind the Toyota empire, ascended to the top job in 2009, and turned the struggling carmaker around. It also tells the story of the Toyoda family, whose 8% ownership stake has enabled it to maintain control of one of the world’s most successful companies and steer it through one of the most difficult periods in its history.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the role of a powerful Japanese dynasty in managing a global multinational company for nearly 80 years, in particular how the heir single-handedly restored the company values and legacy at a crucial moment in its history. It offers an opportunity to discuss the role of professional managers who are vital for the sustainability of family-run enterprises. The case encourages students to view global companies such as Ford, Fiat and VW as more than industrial giants but as family-run businesses, each with a different approach to management.

Keywords:
Toyota Motor, Family Business, Akio Toyoda, Salaryman, Automobile Industry, Saylor Family, Japanese Carmaker, Recall Crisis, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, Wicfe,

published: 27 Jul 2015

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Chocolate industry
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The first of this two-part case, “Principled Capitalism”, analyses the unique values-based leadership practised for 186 years by the Cadbury owners, particularly how its strongly Quaker-inspired leaders developed a unique socially-engaged form of capitalism. Through the history of the Cadbury family, it describes the global development of the chocolate industry. Driven by a handful of dedicated entrepreneurs, and dominated in the UK by Quakers, it was an industry where an innovation could change the market overnight. Part 2 “Sold for 20p” analyses the many governance challenges the Cadburys faced. From their merger with the troubled Fry’s in 1918, which significantly enlarged the number of family owners, the transfer of their ownership to charity foundations, the motivation and long-term consequences of listing the firm in 1962, a strategic merger with Schweppes in 1969 and forced demerger in 2008, and the family’s exit with the hostile takeover by Kraft in 2010, it offers valuable lessons in how family firms can use ownership design to mitigate business and family roadblocks, and how dilution of ownership can have unforeseen consequences and ultimately leave the family firm vulnerable to predators.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Understand the long-term family ownership and control . Understand the benefits and costs of going public . Understand why families exit their businesses

Keywords:
Chocolate Industry, Family Ownership, Family Control, Family Assets, Quaker Values, Going Public, Cadbury Code, Mergers and Split Ups, Corporate Social Responsibility, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices, Hedge Funds, Control Contest, Hostile Take Overs, Family Exit, Corporate Governance, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy

Related:

published: 27 Jul 2015

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Chocolate industry
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The first of this two-part case, “Principled Capitalism”, analyses the unique values-based leadership practised for 186 years by the Cadbury owners, particularly how its strongly Quaker-inspired leaders developed a unique socially-engaged form of capitalism. Through the history of the Cadbury family, it describes the global development of the chocolate industry. Driven by a handful of dedicated entrepreneurs, and dominated in the UK by Quakers, it was an industry where an innovation could change the market overnight. Part 2 “Sold for 20p” analyses the many governance challenges the Cadburys faced. From their merger with the troubled Fry’s in 1918, which significantly enlarged the number of family owners, the transfer of their ownership to charity foundations, the motivation and long-term consequences of listing the firm in 1962, a strategic merger with Schweppes in 1969 and forced demerger in 2008, and the family’s exit with the hostile takeover by Kraft in 2010, it offers valuable lessons in how family firms can use ownership design to mitigate business and family roadblocks, and how dilution of ownership can have unforeseen consequences and ultimately leave the family firm vulnerable to predators.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Understand the long-term family ownership and control . Understand the benefits and costs of going public . Understand why families exit their businesses

Keywords:
Chocolate Industry, Family Ownership, Family Control, Family Assets, Quaker Values, Going Public, Cadbury Code, Mergers and Split Ups, Corporate Social Responsibility, Hedge Funds, Control Contest, Hostile Take Overs, Family Exit, Corporate Governance, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy

Related:

published: 29 Jun 2015

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Retail distribution
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The Mulliez family owns one of the largest retail empires in the world. From its origins in northern France, its members have launched more than 20 different retail enterprises including Auchan (supermarkets), Boulanger (electronic devices), Decathlon (sports stores), Phildar (hosiery and yarn) and many other well-known brands. With more than 700 family members currently, they have nurtured a unique business model whereby new generations receive an in-house education and incentives are provided through innovative ownership design. The case identifies the contributions of the Mulliez family that underpin the conglomerate´s successful business strategy. It also analyses the challenges facing the family and its use of special governance structures to mitigate them.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the role of leadership, the importance of culture, and the need for control systems. After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to: 1) Evaluate the importance of family assets. 2) Analyse to what extent the family values are transferable to new generations, including new family owners and professional managers. 3) See how the family implements business and governance strategies based on its assets.

Keywords:
Mulliez, Family, Business, Entrepreneurship, Distribution, Governance, Succession, Retail, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy, Family Office, Wealth Management, Legacy, Ownership

published: 29 Jun 2015

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Restaurant
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The Kam family has owned Yung Kee, a huge 750-seat restaurant in Hong Kong, for more than 50 years. Starting out as a food stall, the business still 'packs them in' today. However, soon after the death of the patriarch, at the age of 96, in 2004, his two oldest sons became embroiled in a bitter and very public family feud over the restaurant's management and the family fortune, estimated to be worth HK$2 billion.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers an excellent introduction to the complexities of succession in family businesses. Most students think of ownership design as a simple transfer of assets from one generation to another. As a result they fail to consider the larger social interests of the surviving family members. The Yung Kee case has the advantage of being readily accessible while giving ample opportunity to ask questions about ownership design.

Keywords:
Hong Kong, China, Restaurant, Shareholdings, British Virgin Islands, Succession, Family, Dispute, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender

Hermès Paris Award winner Prize Winner
published: 28 Apr 2014

  • Topic: Economics & Finance

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Abstract:
This case is about options for ownership design in family businesses. The Hermès family takes the firm public in 1993 with the dual aim of enabling individual members to exit via selling shares on the market and generating funds to finance the company's growth. Fifteen years later, as LVMH prepares a hostile takeover bid for control of Hermès, the family fights to protect its ownership by creating a family trust to keep minority ownership interests in check.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) To explain the prevalence of family firms in the luxury industry. 2) To apply the 'Family Business Map' to design family-assets-based business strategies and governance to avoid roadblocks. 3) Why family firms go public and in what way being a public firm is different from a private firm. 4) To understand that the way a family firm lists its shares can have long-term consequences for ownership and governance. 5) To show how family firms can be protected from hostile takeovers by creating a family trust. 6) To underline the legal limitations on the defensive strategies that family firms can deploy against hostile takeover bids, which vary from one country to another.

Keywords:
Luxury Industry, Ownership Design, Hostile Takeover Attempt, Family Ownership, Family Assets, Family Roadblocks, Family Trusts, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

Prizes won:
- Highly Commended at 2013 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Family Business Category

published: 20 Dec 2013

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Mining
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case describes the challenges encountered by Nathaniel Rothschild after making a US$3 billion investment in 2010 in a family-owned business group in Asia. Scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty and private equity fund manager, Rothschild and his business associates created a LSE-listed shell company, Bumi PLC, which acquired PT Bumi Resources and Berau Coal. These were among Indonesia’s largest coal mines and the largest coal exporters in the world, and were controlled by the Bakries, a powerful Indonesian family whose patriarch was a candidate for the presidency in 2014. After losing at least 70% of his investment in three years, Rothschild eventually requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting in February 2013, attempting to remove the Bakries and their associates from Bumi's management team. Despite western-style corporate governance manoeuvres, the PE investors found it challenging to control the politically connected family in Indonesia.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed for courses in Corporate Finance on the topic of family business and/or raising funds, or courses in International Finance or Investment in Emerging Markets (particularly Indonesia). Alternatively, it could be used in a course on Corporate Governance on the topic of shareholder activism and board monitoring.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Family Business, Asia, Reverse Merger, Board Monitoring, Business Groups, Tunneling, Shareholder Activism, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Across the World, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Family Office, Wealth Management, Legacy, Ownership

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