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

5 Dec 2011

India's planned retail reform continued to dominate the headlines, while we analysed two other contentious issues - industry efforts to tackle child labour in cocoa production and the true potential of intense sweetener stevia. Elsewhere, Unilever and McCain Foods faced union strife and Diamond Foods warned a probe into payments to growers could hit the company.

On the money: Ralcorp predicts positive Post performance

2 Dec 2011

Executives at Ralcorp Holdings remain confident about the future of branded cereal business Post, despite company-wide annual losses of US$187m.

US: Post impairment charges push Ralcorp to FY loss

30 Nov 2011

Impairment charges on US cereal business Post, caused by a worsening in the sales and earnings outlook for the division, has led owner Ralcorp Holdings to report annual losses of US$187m.

Best bits: Nooyi has PepsiCo on the right track

21 Nov 2011

Investors and analysts clamouring for change at PepsiCo should beware the pull of short-term financial gain and recognise the long-term benefit of the company's focus on nutrition, writes Dean Best.

US: ConAgra names Ross as chief strategy officer

17 Nov 2011

US food maker ConAgra Foods has today (17 November) appointed Andrew Ross to the newly-created role of chief strategy officer.

US: ConAgra buys own-label firm National Pretzel Co.

14 Nov 2011

ConAgra Foods has agreed to buy US private-label firm National Pretzel Co. for an undisclosed sum.

US: Ralcorp names Block as Post COO

14 Nov 2011

US food maker Ralcorp Holdings has appointed Terence Block as president and COO of Post Holdings, the branded cereals business that is set to be spun off from the company.

US: Ralcorp postpones FY earnings

8 Nov 2011

Ralcorp Holdings has put the release of its full-year earnings back more than three weeks following an analysis of its Post cereals business.

US: Vitale named CFO of Post Holdings

13 Oct 2011

Ralcorp Holdings has named Robert Vitale as CFO of Post Holdings, the US branded cereals business that will be spun off from the private-label food maker next year.

US: Stiritz lined up for Post CEO role

28 Sep 2011

Ralcorp Holdings chairman William Stiritz is to become CEO of Post Holdings, the branded cereal maker that the US food company plans to create through its plan to split itself in two.

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

26 Sep 2011

Tesco this week announced plans to cut GBP500m (US$773.6m) from the price of thousands of items in the UK in a revamp of its promotional strategy. Suppliers and rival retailers will be weighing up the impact on their businesses and the move comes at a difficult time for online retailer Ocado, which has a high-profile price-matching campaign aimed at Tesco and has seen its shares fall this week. Elsewhere, Kerry Group boosted its ingredients business with a move to buy Cargill's flavours arm while one deal that will not happen is ConAgra Foods' bid to buy Ralcorp Holdings, which again refused to talk to its suitor.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

26 Sep 2011

Tesco announced a revamp of its promotional strategy in the UK last week, a move that was immediately criticised by its rivals. However, grocers in Scotland were united in their opposition to a tax on major retailers in the country.

Focus: What next for ConAgra and Ralcorp?

23 Sep 2011

Three times ConAgra Foods made offers for Ralcorp Holdings and three times its fellow US food group refused to even hold talks on a potential sale. This week, ConAgra withdrew its final bid, leaving industry watchers to ask what lies ahead for the two companies. Sam Webb reports.

On the money: ConAgra committed to M&A in wake of Ralcorp snub

21 Sep 2011

US food giant ConAgra Foods has spoken of "robust" acquisition plans in the wake of its unsuccessful US$5.18bn bid for private-label company Ralcorp Holdings.

US: ConAgra withdraws Ralcorp bid

20 Sep 2011

ConAgra Foods has withdrawn its US$5.18bn bid for Ralcorp Holdings after its takeover target refused to hold talks on the offer.

US: Ralcorp again rejects ConAgra's takeover bid

19 Sep 2011

Ralcorp Holdings has again turned down a US$5.2bn takeover bid from fellow US food maker ConAgra Foods.

Best bits: Metro Group, Sara Lee and Ralcorp face questions

19 Sep 2011

The speculation over the future of Metro Group's chief executive intensified last week, casting doubts over the direction of the world's fourth-largest retailer.

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

19 Sep 2011

Tension at the top of Metro Group, the world's fourth-largest retailer, made the headlines this week, with the future of CEO Dr Eckhard Cordes in doubt. Across the Atlantic, Sara Lee was rocked by the departure of senior executive CJ Fraleigh. In the US, ConAgra Foods told takeover target Ralcorp Holdings it had days to being talks on its US$5.2bn bid, while in the UK, Marks and Spencer showcased its new-look food halls as part of a GBP600m revamp of its stores. Click on the headlines for more.

US: ConAgra puts deadline on Ralcorp takeover bid

14 Sep 2011

ConAgra Foods has given takeover target Ralcorp Holdings until Monday (19 September) to hold talks on its US$5.2bn bid or it will walk away from the table.

US: Ralcorp rejects latest ConAgra proposal

15 Aug 2011

US food maker Ralcorp Holdings has rejected the latest share cash offer from ConAgra Foods.

Best bits: Ralcorp stands firm as ConAgra ups ante

15 Aug 2011

ConAgra Foods, keen to tap into the growing private-label market in the US, has made a higher bid for Ralcorp Holdings. Its takeover target, however, has again rejected the company's advances.

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

12 Aug 2011

There were a series of deals this week, from Symington's move to buy two brands from Unilever and Valeo Foods Group's acquisition of fellow Irish food maker Jacob Fruitfield Food Group to the latest move by Sara Lee to restructure its business and sell a North American unit to US company Ralcorp Holdings. Click on the headlines for more.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

12 Aug 2011

Following last week's shock news of Kraft Foods' spin off, corporate restructuring and M&A remained the theme, with Sara Lee agreeing to sell its North American refrigerated dough business to Ralcorp Holdings and announcing plans to sell its French and Spanish bakery divisions. Irish food company Valeo Foods Group struck a deal to buy local rival Jacob Fruitfield Food Group and Symington's acquired two food brands from Unilever. Here's the best of what was said this week:

On the money: Sara Lee looks ahead to "year of transition"

11 Aug 2011

Sara Lee's next financial year is set to be a "year of transition", according to chairman Jan Bennink, as the company completes a number of disposals and realises plans to split the business in two.

Focus: Sara Lee move adds to uncertainty around Ralcorp

10 Aug 2011

Last month, Ralcorp Holdings announced it would "aggressively" look to make acquisitions to expand its private-label operations, which are set to stand alone after a spin off of branded cereals business Post. The deal to buy Sara Lee's refrigerated dough unit is part of that strategy. However, there is still uncertainty over the future of the US company, with speculation over the intentions of ConAgra Foods, which made a bid for the whole business in May.

US: Sara Lee to sell refrigerated dough business to Ralcorp

9 Aug 2011

Sara Lee has entered an agreement to sell its North American refrigerated dough business to fellow US food group Ralcorp Holdings.

UK: More Ralcorp lines could follow Honey Bunches of Oats launch

8 Aug 2011

More Ralcorp Holdings products could be launched in the UK in the coming months following the introduction of flagship cereal brand Honey Bunches of Oats.

In the spotlight: Kraft split revives Cadbury's belief in focus

5 Aug 2011

Kraft Foods' decision to split itself in two has surprised industry watchers, not least because the US food giant believes the two companies - a North American grocery business and a global snacks maker - will benefit from greater focus. However, as Dean Best writes, we have had that argument before - when Cadbury tried to fend off Kraft's takeover bid in 2009.

US: Ralcorp eyes own-label M&A after Post spin off

15 Jul 2011

US food maker Ralcorp Holdings has said it will "aggressively" look for acquisitions to add to its core own-label business in the wake of the planned spin off of branded cereals arm Post Foods.

US: Ralcorp lowers FY profit forecast

15 Jul 2011

Ralcorp Holdings has cut its forecast for full-year profits due to low branded cereal volumes and a delay in securing price increases to offset commodity costs.







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