Deal or no deal
We look at the potential suitors when food manufacturers or retailers are up for sale - or put forward as possible takeover targets.
Since Nomad Holdings announced it had acquired European frozen food firm Iglo Group, the market has been waiting for the investment firm's next deal to help its ambition of building a portfolio of "best-in-class" FMCG brands. Nomad confirmed yesterday (4 June) it is in "exclusive" negotiations over the acquisition of assets of Findus Group. The acquisition would strengthen Iglo's hand in the European frozen food sector but, in order to seal the deal, Nomad could have to pay the piper, Katy Askew suggests.
Rumours that private equity-owned Quorn Foods could have piqued the interest of the US's WhiteWave Foods caused a stir this week. Neither company was prepared to comment and it may be Quorn's owner Exponent Private Equity has yet to kick off an auction process but, nonetheless, the speculation highlights the potential the meat-free sector could afford branded food manufacturers. Katy Askew examines Quorn's appeal and who could be tempted by this tasty takeover target.
Unilever is establishing a stand-alone unit for its spreads brands, prompting fresh speculation that the group could be preparing for a sale of the business. At the same time, this week's acquisition of Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto would suggest that the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant is prepared to invest in growth areas in food. Could these changes spell further portfolio adjustments? Katy Askew reports.
Kerry Group is reportedly mulling the sale of its frozen food business. The company has seen strong sales and profit momentum at its ingredients unit but endured a lacklustre performance from the consumer foods side of the business. In this context, it makes sense for the Irish company to pare down peripheral and under-performing areas of Kerry Foods. Katy Askew reports.
Rumours linking Danone to Mead Johnson have periodically surfaced over the past five years. Much of the rationale justifying such a significant move lies in Danone's strategy in key emerging markets such as China. Following a tie-up with Chinese infant formula maker Yashili International Holdings it would seem Danone is intent on developing strategic partnerships with local players to foster growth. But would a big-bang acquisition make more sense? Katy Askew reports.
Blackstone Group and PAI Partners are progressing with plans to offload UK Jacob's-to-McVitie's manufacturer United Biscuits. The question on everyone's lips is whether the business will be floated or sold. Katy Askew reports.
Chiquita Brands International has rejected a takeover approach from Brazilian juice maker Cutrale Group and investment firm Safra Group in favour of a prior agreement to merge with Ireland's Fyffes. However, the share price reaction suggests investors are betting a higher offer will come in for the US produce group. Katy Askew reports.
The hunter became the hunted yesterday (27 May) as Pilgrim's Pride made a hostile bid for Hillshire Brands. The news comes just days after Hillshire announced its own plans to acquire a third US food group, Pinnacle Foods. Pilgrim's play for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages leaves that deal looking shaky and has set the market alight with rumours that further takeover bids for Hillshire could follow. Katy Askew reports.
Rumour has it Unilever is looking to sell its Ragu pasta sauce brand, and though the Anglo-Dutch firm has taken a vow of silence over the whole issue, just-food's Hannah Abdulla weighs up a number of reasons why it could be looking to dispose of the brand.
The battle to acquire Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory has evolved into a complex series of tactical manoeuvres that could make Sun Tzu's The Art of War seem like light reading. Since the first takeover approach was announced, the tussle for WCB has seen industry majors Saputo, Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese competing for ownership of the Australian dairy. With the stakes high, it is clear that it is all still to play for. Katy Askew reports.
In ten days time, Hong Kong retail-to-energy conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa will reportedly consider any offers that have come in for ParknShop, its supermarket chain. However, any interested parties need to consider the challenges facing ParknShop, operating in the saturated Hong Kong market and so far not enjoying significant inroads on the mainland.
Reports emerged earlier this month that US agribusiness giant Cargill is exploring the possibility of buying Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) cocoa business. While not confirmed, such a purchase would create a global giant in the sector. Michelle Russell takes a closer look.
Del Monte Foods is said to be looking to offload its canned food business. Such a deal may not come as a surprise to industry observers given the increasing competition it faces in North America and its focus on pet food but Michelle Russell takes a look at why it might look to divest the unit and who might buy
Bernard Matthews Farms has admitted it may look for outside investment and 2 Sisters Food Group is reportedly considering a bid for the business. Industry watchers believe the UK food giant is the prime candidate to acquire the poultry processor. Michelle Russell reports.
Private-equity firm Langholm Capital was this week reported to have put UK crisp group Tyrrells on the market. Langholm has declined to comment on the reports but the investment firm are said to have put a GBP100m (US$151.9m) price tag on the company.
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