Analysts saw reasons to be cautious over the big events of the week, pouring cold water on Wal-Mart’s plans to enter Africa through its planned acquisition of Massmart and expressing concern over Denise Morrison as the new CEO of Campbell Soup Co. The six-month war of words between Casey’s General Stores and Couche-Tard seems to have ended, with the Canadian operator letting its tender offer expire. Here’s the best of what was said this week.
“We believe South Africa is the best economy in that continent, and it goes downhill from there” – Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser on the markets surrounding Wal-Mart’s planned acquisition of South African retailer Massmart.
“While we applaud the strides Ms. Morrison made with sauces and healthy beverages over the past few years, we cannot ignore the struggles that have plagued soup over this time with Campbell losing share in an ailing category. We believe Campbell has been slow to react to competitors and its focus on lower-sodium products likely hurt the overall category” – Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher Growe on the appointment of Denise Morrison as the new CEO of Campbell Soup Co.
“We have to be faster, we have to be more nimble, we have to be more innovative. That’s how Plum established itself in the first place. I do believe we are faster-moving than those guys and I do believe we have a better proposition than the Heinz and the Cow & Gate’s of this world. – Plum Baby CEO Paul Kaye lays down the gauntlet to the baby food manufacturer’s competition.
“While the leadership will change, the strategy will not. Dick has been heavily involved in Ahold’s strategy and this has been a carefully planned succession”- Ahold CEO John Rishton on his replacement by Dick Boer.
“The terms of our licence agreement do not priovide for either renegotiation or termination in those circumstances so we have filed for arbitration. We expect the process to take months, if not years” – General Mills chairman and CEO Ken Powell on its dispute of the Yoplait brand with Sodima.
“From the beginning of this process, Couche-Tard demonstrated the seriousness of its interest in acquiring Casey’s, and we continue to believe that our fully-financed, $38.50 per share cash tender offer was the most attractive strategic alternative available to shareholders of Casey’s. However, we have decided not to continue to pursue our offer given the Casey’s board’s repeated refusal to negotiate with us.” – Couche-Tard president and CEO Alain Bouchard on walking away from its bid for Iowa-based convenience operator Casey’s.
“Quality is the clear advantage, in terms of hand-skills and the consistency of product you get out of Thailand. You would struggle to get that out of a UK manufacturing facility.” – CP Foods general commercial drector Helen Mepham on the advantages of manufacturing its private label products in Thailand.
“At a time when retailers’ re-tendering their liquid milk contracts is being blamed for driving value out of the supply chain, I am greatly encouraged by Morrisons‘ decision to sign such a long term contract with its two milk suppliers” – NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond on Dairy Crest’s new contract with UK retailer Morrisons
“All we have changed is the descriptor in the ingredients on the back of the pack. The old packs said: ‘contains a glass and a half of full cream milk in every half pound’, which is not valid on a pack where the list of all the other ingredients are metric. It’s confusing” – Cadbury spokesperson Tony Bilsborough on planned labelling changes to the company’s chocolate bars.
“This agreement is an important demonstration of Unilever‘s commitment to Greece and of its determination to make the most of opportunities for growth, despite the difficult economic environment” – Spyros Dessyllas, chairman of Unilever’s Greek unit on the manufacturer’s acquistion of EVGA’s ice cream business