Two Hs dominated the headlines this week: horsemeat and Heinz. The horsemeat contamination scandal swept across Europe, with arrests in the UK, a series of recalls, government investigations and product tests. On Thursday, however, Heinz took the industry’s attention with news it had accepted a US$28bn takeover bid – the largest-ever seen in the sector.
Horsemeat scandal sweeps across Europe
This week, as the saga entered its fifth week, there were three arrests for alleged fraud in the UK, Paris pointed the finger at local supplier Spanghero and the results for the first set of tests on beef products in the UK were published.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, 3G Capital to buy Heinz
In a surprise announcement, Heinz agreed to be bought by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway fund and private-equity firm 3G Capital for US$28bn – the largest-ever takeover in the food sector. Click on the headline for just-food’s analysis of the deal and coverage of Heinz and 3G’s media conference in Pittsburgh.
SWEDEN: Ahold sells stake in ICA to Hakon Invest
Dutch retail giant Ahold has sold its stake in ICA, the Sweden-based retailer, to co-owner Hakon Invest.
Click here for just-food’s interview with Hakon Invest CFO Goran Blomberg on the fund’s takeover of ICA.
Click here for Dean Best’s comment on why Ahold will remain prudent despite securing SEK20bn for its 60% stake in the retailer.
On the money: Nestle plays down concerns over emerging markets
Nestle has dismissed suggestions its days of “easy gains” in emerging markets are over as the group recorded what one analyst described as “sustained weakness” in Asia, Oceania and Africa.
On the money: Mondelez confident on 2013 organic sales target
Global snacks giant Mondelez International has affirmed confidence in its ability to increase sales by at least 5% on an organic basis in 2012 amid concerns on Wall Street.
Interview: Raisio continues to drive expansion – CEO
Raisio has completed four acquisitions over the past three years as the Finnish food group looked to increase its clout in key markets and refocus its portfolio towards consumer food brands. Yesterday’s strong sales and earnings growth suggests that this strategy is paying off and, speaking to just-food, CEO Matti Rihko hints that the firm is hungry for more.
ROMANIA: Cargill sells veg oil brands to France’s Sofiproteol
Cargill is to quit the vegetable oil business in Romania in a bid to develop its agricultural operations in the country.
US: General Mills settles probiotic health claim lawsuit
General Mills has settled a lawsuit in the US questioning health claims associated with its YoPlus probiotic yoghurt.