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September 17, 2012

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

Late on Friday, India's government stunned the country with a wave of reforms, including the return of plans to ease restrictions on foreign investment into the retail sector. Further east, Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp. confirmed it was in talks to buy Dole Food Co. assets - and expansion in China could be a factor in its interest.

By Dean Best

Late on Friday, India’s government stunned the country with a wave of reforms, including the return of plans to ease restrictions on foreign investment into the retail sector. Further east, Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp. confirmed it was in talks to buy Dole Food Co. assets – and expansion in China could be a factor in its interest. Elsewhere, Associated British Foods’ trading update for its last financial year gave us the chance to look at its grocery business and there was fresh talk over who could one day replace PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi after European boss Zein Abdalla was named president of the company. Click on the headlines for more.

India tries once more to ease rules on retail FDINine months after opposition forced India’s government to put reform on hold, it has announced fresh plans to allow overseas retailers to invest in multi-brand outlets. Will the plans stick this time?

The Japanese conglomerate is in advanced talks with the US produce giant over buying its packaged food and Asian fresh assets.
The headlines on the mainstream business pages may have talked about a “sales surge” at Primark and sugar profits may be especially sweet but Associated British Foods’ grocery operations have proven a mixed bag in the last 12 months.
The announcement that PepsiCo’s president John Compton is to leave the group after less than eight months in the role has sparked fresh speculation over who will succeed Indra Nooyi as CEO.
Japanese brewer Sapporo Holdings has confirmed plans to invest around US$2.5bn over the next five years in a bid to boost capacity and expand its presence in food and soft drinks.
ThaiBev, along with its partner TCC Assets, has confirmed it will make a cash offer of about SGD9bn (US$7.2bn) for Singapore food and drink group Fraser and Neave (F&N).
MOROCCO: Kraft to take control of biscuit firm BIMOKraft Foods has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 50% stake of Moroccan biscuit manufacturer Biscuiterie Industrielle du Moghreb (BIMO).

US: Campbell Soup Co. eyes M&A, JVsCampbell Soup Co. has confirmed it is looking to acquisitions and joint ventures to expand its international presence.

UPDATE: CHINA: Analysts see packaged food, sourcing deals for WahahaThe decision by Wahaha to look at acquisitions for overseas growth has come as little surprise to some analysts who believe the Chinese food and drink firm may look at packaged food or sourcing deals.
UK: Wiseman next to pledge milk price hikeRobert Wiseman Dairies has become the latest UK dairy processor to announce an increase in the price it pays farmers for milk.

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