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

By Dean Best | 19 August 2011

M&A talk has continued unabated, with ConAgra revealing its disappointment around its latest offer for Ralcorp being rebuffed. Former Bright Food target United Biscuits owner Blackstone has cooled reports that it is looking to split the manufacturer in two. Happier news for Bright Food this week, however, with the company reaching an agreement to buy Manassen Foods. Click on the headlines for more.

US: ConAgra "disappointed" at Ralcorp rejection
ConAgra Foods has said that it is "extremely disappointed" at Ralcorp's rapid dismissal of its latest takeover offer.

UK: Blackstone cools United Biscuits split talk
Private-equity group Blackstone has cooled reports that it and United Biscuits co-owner PAI Partners are looking to split the UK biscuits and snack maker in two.

In the spotlight: Bright Foods reveals global ambitions with Manassen deal
Bright Food announced the acquisition of Australian manufacturer Massanen Foods this week. This, combined with speculation that it has shown an interest in a number of other international players hints at the scale of its plans. What exactly are Bright Food's ambitions? Dean Best reports.

Wal-Mart's Q2 results - what the analysts say
Wal-Mart Stores upped its forecast for annual earnings this week after its second-quarter results. But did Wall Street react to Wal-Mart's numbers? And how do analysts view the outlook for the retailer?

Talking shop: UK food retailers face fresh discount threat
Discount retailers are again making headlines in the UK. With the economy faltering, the likes of Aldi are gaining share at the expense of the country's major retailers. As Sam Webb writes, the likes of Asda and Sainsbury's are fighting back and emphasising that consumers can find value with them.

UK: Sainsbury's trial price matching technology in Northern Ireland
Sainsbury's stores in Northern Ireland will trial technology that the supermarket giant claims will guarantee shoppers get the most competitive prices on branded goods.

CHINA: Abbott to build infant nutrition plant
Abbott has said it will spend US$230m on building an infant nutrition manufacturing facility in China to meet increasing demand.

NORWAY: ICA to offload Maxi stores
Sweden-based retailer ICA has decided to quit the hypermarket channel in Norway to focus on its supermarket and discount stores.

US: Private-equity firms "prepare bid" for Whole Foods Market
Private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has remained coy on reports that it, and Bain Capital, may be preparing a bid for premium food retailer Whole Foods Market.

GLOBAL: Nestlé points Nutritional Compass in new direction
Nestlé has changed its product labelling system in an effort to help consumers make more informed choices about their diet and lifestyle.

Sectors: Baby food, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Emerging markets, Financials, Frozen, Mergers & acquisitions, Private label, Retail, Snacks

Companies: Bright Food, United Biscuits, Sainsbury’s, Manassen Foods, ConAgra Foods, Wal-Mart Stores, Aldi, Asda, Whole Foods Market

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