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Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

14 April 2014

Olive oil giant Deoleo this week announced its board had backed a takeover bid from private-equity giant CVC Capital Partners. Elsewhere, Mondelez International announced plans for another plant in Russia and the political party that looks set to be the major party in India's next government said it would ban foreign supermarkets entering the country's retail sector.

Deal or no deal: Analysts divided on Dorset Cereals sale

10 April 2014

Toward the end of last week Kellogg, Weetabix and Associated British Foods were all named as potential suitors looking to buy UK cereal brand Dorset Cereals from Wellness Foods. Hannah Abdulla looks at where Dorset Cereals could next end up.

UK/IRELAND: Rowse honey buy to boost Valeo's UK presence

9 April 2014

Irish food group Valeo Foods has acquired Rowse honey in the hope it will bolster its presence in the UK.

UK: Weetabix coy on "bid" for Dorset Cereals

7 April 2014

Weetabix has refused to "confirm or deny" reports it is one of the suitors looking to buy UK muesli manufacturer Dorset Cereals.

UK: Weetabix confirms plan to cut pay, hours

7 April 2014

Weetabix has announced plans to cut staff pay and hours in the UK, a reaction believed to be prompted by increasing pressure from supermarket own brands and discount food retailers.

UK: Kellogg, Weetabix, ABF "eye Dorset Cereals"

4 April 2014

Kellogg, Weetabix and Associated British Foods are reportedly eyeing UK cereal business Dorset Cereals.

just-food's 2014 outlook: M&A activity, valuations on upward journey

30 January 2014

Last year surprised commentators with the relatively subdued levels of M&A in the food sector. While 2013 did include the largest ever food industry deal by value - the move to take Heinz private - the number of transactions completed came in somewhat below the expectations of M&A advisers. 2014, we are told, is likely to be a different story as deals work their way through the sector's pipelines and valuations continue their upward march. Katy Askew reports.

Shopper trends: Cereal firms react as breakfast habits evolve

8 January 2014

Major cereal manufacturers are reporting disappointing sales and there has been a decline in volume sales over the last few years. It would be easy to think that this GBP1.3bn market (in the UK alone) had gone stale, but with pockets of growth and lots of innovation, this is one category that is certainly hotting up.

UK: Weetabix latest to launch breakfast drink

6 January 2014

UK-based cereal group Weetabix has become the latest business to launch a breakfast drink in a bid to offer more convenient products to consumers.

China briefing: Multinationals vie for place at table

29 November 2013

With an increasingly affluent population of more than 1.36bn mouths to feed the potential offered by China's food sector is immense. But the size of the opportunity does not, in itself, guarantee success. Competition is fierce as multinational food groups and local players alike look to grow their share of this vast pie. Katy Askew examines the competitive dynamics of the Chinese food sector.

CHINA: Bright Food "will consider listing" for Weetabix

21 November 2013

Bright Food, the Chinese food group that owns a controlling stake in UK cereal maker Weetabix, is understood to have confirmed its interest in listing the business.

CHINA: Bright Food "in talks" to acquire Israel's Tnuva

3 September 2013

China's Bright Food is understood to be holding talks with Israel's largest food manufacturer and distributor Tnuva about a potential acquisition.

Breakfast cereal: Manufacturers look to grow UK category

4 June 2013

Cereal manufacturers in the UK are facing a competitive market and flat sales volumes. While overall conditions have been somewhat sluggish, the breakfast category when taken as a whole has seen some pockets of excitement. Manufacturers have looked to capitalise on these and the industry's response has been a sharp focus on product development, promotional activity and marketing. But, Katy Askew asks, is this enough to breath fresh life into the boxed cereal category?

Best bits: Smithfield, McCormick keep China in the spotlight

3 June 2013

Investment is flowing into and from the world's emerging markets, as two transactions involving US firms Smithfield Foods and McCormick & Co. highlighted last week.

UK: "Technical issues" hit Weetabix production

23 April 2013

Weetabix has been forced to cut production of its Weetabix Minis and Oatibix bitesize ranges, a spokesperson for the group confirmed.

Comment: Sovereign, pension funds to vie for M&A with trade, PE

19 April 2013

Could sovereign wealth funds and pension funds become more active participants in deal-making in the FMCG industry? Perhaps so, writes Dean Best.

Deal or no deal: The likely suspects to acquire Burton's Biscuit Co.

8 April 2013

The private-equity owners of Burton's Biscuit Co. are "considering options" for the UK's second-largest biscuit maker, a process that could lead to an eventual sale. Katy Askew takes a look at the players for whom an acquisition of Burton's could hit the sweet spot.

just-food confidence survey - China dominates emerging market interest

2 April 2013

just-food's Confidence Survey asked for your views on the emerging markets and, in particular, which of the BRIC economies you expected to offer the greatest opportunity in 2013. While the BRICs continued to offer opportunity for most multi-nationals, other markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam are emerging as focus markets for the future.

UK: Ad watchdog raps Weetabix over mobile app

13 February 2013

UK cereal maker Weetabix has had its WeetaKid mobile app banned for making children feel "inferior" if they did not eat the company's products.

just-food's outlook for 2013: Mega deals unlikely as consolidation continues

31 January 2013

There may be caution over the prospect for blockbuster deals in a dilapidated economic environment, but the food sector mergers and acquisitions table still has plenty to whet the appetite.

UK: Weetabix launches On The Go breakfast biscuits

14 January 2013

UK cereal manufacturer Weetabix has entered the breakfast biscuit category with the launch of an On The Go range.

UPDATE: UK: Overseas investment to drive food M&A

8 January 2013

Analysts at Experian believe that overseas investment will maintain the momentum of mergers and acquisitions in the UK food sector.

UK: Bright Food, Weetabix deal dominates M&A scene for 2012

7 January 2013

Food and drink deals, particularly the acquisition of Weetabix by China's Bright Food Group, dominated large-scale merger and acquisition activity in the UK in 2012, a new report by Experian shows.

just-food review of 2012: M&A revival but caution hinders big deals

19 December 2012

There were, despite continued economic uncertainty in many Western markets and concerns over slowing growth in the East, signs that M&A activity rebounded in the food sector this year. However, a look at just-food's M&A coverage this year shows there have been few big-ticket, transformational deals.

The top ten analysis articles on just-food in 2012

18 December 2012

Looking behind the headlines is just-food's signature dish and this year we looked at the major stories in-depth, including the possible suitors for United Biscuits' salty snacks business; the work ahead for China's Bright Food after it bought Weetabix and the prospects for the two companies created by Kraft Foods' split in two.

In the spotlight: CD&R's B&M deal could fire up discount competition

4 December 2012

Private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's acquisition of a majority stake in UK cut-price retailer B&M Retail may see competition heat up further in the country's fast-growing discount channel.

UK/CHINA: Weetabix owner Bright coy amid IPO talk

6 November 2012

Bright Food, the Chinese food group that owns a controlling stake in UK cereal maker Weetabix, has insisted its primary focus is on expanding the brand in the country amid reports it could list the business.

Logistics - Norbert Dentressangle reacts to the pressure of the downturn

1 October 2012

The downturn has made markets like the UK even tougher places to do business. Retailers are watching costs like a hawk while at the same time using promotions like never before. The first part of just-food's latest briefing on logistics features an interview with Dan Myers, head of the food unit at logistics giant Norbert Dentressangle, who outlines the pressures affecting his business.

UK: Weetabix to "review" porridge court decision

30 August 2012

UK cereal maker Weetabix has said it is "reviewing" a court decision that saw it lose a battle to halt the launch of a new brand of porridge.

UPDATE: UK: Weetabix "disappointed" by ASA advert ban

1 August 2012

Weetabix has said it is "disappointed" with a decision by the UK's advertising watchdog to ban one of its television advertisements.

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