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In the spotlight: Hard work ahead for new Weetabix owner Bright Food

3 May 2012

Ambitious Bright Food, the Chinese state-backed food group, missed out on previous Western targets like United Biscuits and Yoplait but it has planted a flag in Europe with the acquisition of a majority stake in UK cereal manufacturer Weetabix. The deal could give Bright Food some Western expertise to apply to its domestic business but, as Dean Best reports, its faces a challenge in building the brand in China, where it remains early days for breakfast cereal.

CHINA/UK: Bright Food buys majority stake in Weetabix

3 May 2012

China's Bright Food has acquired a majority stake in UK cereal maker Weetabix.

just-food Confidence Survey - cost volatility and industry consolidation

30 Apr 2012

2011 was a year of commodity cost inflation and the food industry had hoped raw materials prices would fall back this year. However, in some cases, prices remain stubbornly high. The just-food Confidence Survey showed manufacturers remain determined to push through costs but competition between retailers remains intense, which could lead to a wave of consolidation in the sector.

UK: Lion Capital silent on Weetabix "sale talks" with Bright Food

23 Apr 2012

Private-equity firm Lion Capital has declined to comment on reports it is in talks to sell UK cereal manufacturer Weetabix to China's Bright Food.

Comment: UK food industry looks to cash in on patriotic surge

18 Apr 2012

With some major national events on the horizon - the London Olympics, Paralympics and the Diamond Jubilee - the UK looks set to see an upsurge in patriotic sentiment this summer. The country's food manufacturers and retailers have invested a pretty penny to ensure that they can cash in on this jubilant atmosphere. However, Katy Askew suggests, the industry should be equally prepared for the comedown.

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

30 Mar 2012

The future of Iglo Group, Europe's largest frozen food manufacturer, was a hot topic this week with its private-equity owner preparing to put the business up for sale. Elsewhere, the M&A rumour mill focused on South African retailer Pick n Pay and Spanish food groups Moreno and Hojiblanca announced plans to merge. We looked at the potential buyers of United Biscuits' salty snacks arm, looked at the pressure food manufacturers are still under from commodity costs and interviewed the CFO of Dutch bakery firm CSM, which saw profits hit last year by raw material prices. And the latest just-food briefing focused on stevia, the intense sweetener seen to have huge potential.

Deal or no deal: Who is in the running for United Biscuits' salty snacks?

28 Mar 2012

The private-equity owners of United Biscuits are considering offloading the salty snacks side of the business may come as little surprise, with the UK group set to be split in two. With the auction process expected to begin in several months time, Katy Askew takes a look at the likely suitors for the Hula Hoops maker.

Best bits: The inexact science of consumer confidence, M&A

26 Mar 2012

It was a week in which bold predictions were made on commodity costs, consumer confidence and M&A but, as Dean Best writes, uncertainty shrouds all three topics.

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

26 Mar 2012

The Consumer Analyst Group of Europe investment conference in London dominated just-food's working week and we exclusively provided the news and views from the event.

UK: United Biscuits UK split could open way for break-up

23 Mar 2012

UK firm United Biscuits, which is the subject of fresh speculation over its future, is to split its biscuit and snacks units in its domestic market.

CAGE: Private equity at centre of renewed M&A activity - Spayne Lindsay

22 Mar 2012

Private-equity firms will play a central role in an upturn in mergers and acquisition activity in the global food sector, M&A advisory firm Spayne Lindsay has predicted.

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

19 Mar 2012

It was a bumper week of insight from just-food, with analysis of Richard Brasher's decision to quit as CEO of Tesco's UK operations, an examination of rising egg prices and a look at the future for UK food manufacturer Premier Foods. We also emphasised our international reach, with an exclusive interview with the chief executive of Spanish retailer Grupo Eroski. Click on the headlines for more.

UK: United Biscuits owners mulling break-up options

13 Mar 2012

Blackstone Group and PAI Partners, the private-equity owners of United Biscuits, are considering the possibility of selling the UK firm's salty snacks business.

2012 - Supermarket battles to drive supplier M&A

6 Feb 2012

Some of the world's largest retailers struggled in 2011, which promises to mean even more intense competition in 2012. What could this mean for suppliers? Ultimately, it could mean the industry witnesses more consolidation this year.

UK: Ex-Heineken exec named Sainsbury's marketing chief

23 Jan 2012

Sainsbury's has named former Heineken executive Sarah Warby as its new marketing director.

UK: United Biscuits launches savoury biscuits range

5 Dec 2011

United Biscuits is to launch bize-sized savoury biscuits in an echo of Nestle's Rowntree's Randoms confectionery range.

Logistics - the role of the logistics service provider

30 Nov 2011

Logistics companies, far from being simple hauliers, have adapted to meet the increasingly complicated and specialised needs of customers in the food manufacture and retail spheres, such as tracking and traceability and flexible volumes. In the second part of his feature on logistics, Stuart Todd gains insight from major logistics providers about this fascinating industry.

UK: United Biscuits launches KP Nutty Nibbles

22 Aug 2011

United Biscuits has launched a snacks range in the UK that combines nuts, sweet biscuits and fruit.

In the spotlight: Bright Foods reveals global ambitions with Manassen deal

19 Aug 2011

Bright Foods announced the acquisition of Australian manufacturer Manassen Foods this week. With speculation that it has shown interest in a number of other international players hints at the scale of its plans. What exactly are Bright Foods' ambitions? Dean Best reports.

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

19 Aug 2011

M&A talk has continued unabated, with ConAgra revealing its disappointment around its latest offer for Ralcorp being rebuffed. The owner of former Bright Food target United Biscuits 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.

CHINA/AUS: Bright Food takes control of Manassen Foods

18 Aug 2011

Bright Food, the Chinese food group, has sealed a deal to buy 75% of Australian food manufacturer and importer Manassen Foods.

US: Commodity costs hit Smucker food profits in Q1

18 Aug 2011

JM Smucker has reported falling quarterly profits from its consumer food business as higher commodity costs ate into earnings.

UK: Blackstone cools United Biscuits split talk

15 Aug 2011

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.

CHINA: Bright Food "nears Manassen Foods takeover"

15 Aug 2011

Bright Food, the Chinese food group, is reportedly set to take control of Australian branded food manufacturer and importer Manassen Foods.

UK: Mastercard's Horgan named Sainsbury's marketing director

11 Aug 2011

Sainsbury's has hired Mastercard executive Mark Horgan as its marketing director.

UK: Food makers to promote half-portions of fruit and veg

1 Aug 2011

Food manufacturers in the UK plan to promote half-portions of the fruit and veg in products from baked beans to lasagne in an initiative to encourage consumers to eat more of their five a day.

UK: United Biscuits launches larger Hula Hoops

25 Jul 2011

UK snacks manufacturer United Biscuits has launched a sharing pack of larger versions of its Hula Hoops crisps.

AUS: Bright Food "in talks" to buy Manassen Foods

12 Jul 2011

Chinese food group Bright Food is reportedly in talks to buy Australian branded food manufacturer and importer Manassen Foods.

UK: United Biscuits creates "business transformation" role

6 Jul 2011

United Biscuits has promoted Helen Warren-Piper to the newly-created role of business transformation director.

UK: United Biscuits launches McVitie's brand extension

4 Jul 2011

United Biscuits UK is expanding its McVitie's biscuits range with the launch of the brand extension McVitie's Quirks.









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