Five months ago, Chiquita Brands International announced plans to merge with fellow banana supplier Fyffes. The deal was set to close by the end of the year. However, this week, an unsolicited takeover bid came in for Chiquita, which promptly rejected the offer. However, the suitors have indicated they may not go away easily. Elsewhere, our coverage of Russia’s food embargo continued, we looked in-depth at the opportunities for growth in Japan in our latest management briefing and, in a new M&A column, we suggested Raisio sell up to private equity.

Hot issue: Bid interest in Chiquita arrives with Fyffes merger on horizon
Brazilian juice manufacturer Cutrale Group and investment firm Safra Group have bid for Chiquita Brands International, with the produce giant having already lined up a merger with Fyffes. How has Chiquita reacted?

FINLAND: Dairy group Valio to axe jobs after Russia ban
Finnish dairy manufacturer Valio has said it will be cutting jobs as a result of Russia’s ban on EU food imports.

In the spotlight: What could be impact of Russia’s embargo?
In a tit-for-tat move last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a year-long ban on on food imports from countries participating in the imposition of sanctions on Russia. Confident the country can be self-sufficient, Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have urged local producers to take advantage of the opportunity, and get their products on supermarket shelves. But are they up to the task? And what does this mean for global exporters to Russia? Hannah Abdulla reports.

Briefing: Japan and growth
A sustained economic malaise and unhelpful demographic trends have seen Japan lose its lustre in recent years. This management briefing looks at how the country’s food manufacturers are looking abroad but also how there is opportunity within the market for growth.

UK: Bakkavor investors may sell stakes
UK-based own-label supplier Bakkavor is in the process of hiring banking advisers to sell stakes in the business owned by a number of investors.

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By GlobalData

M&A Watch: Why Raisio should sell to private equity
Raisio, the Finland-based group behind brands including Benecol, Honey Monster cereals and Fox’s confectionery, has, in recent years, tried to grow via M&A. However, Stefan Kirk of M&A advisors Glenboden questions the company’s strategy and believes it should be sold to a private-equity firm to unlock value.

UK: Watchdog opens case on ABF’s Dorset Cereals buy
The UK’s competition watchdog is investigating Associated British Foods’ planned acquisition of Dorset Cereals.

On the money: Flowers looks to soothe market after forecast cut
Shares in US bakery group Flowers Foods sank yesterday after it cut its earnings forecast for 2014 – but the company immediately sought to soothe investor concerns by looking to its longer-term prospects.

Analysis: Why PZ Cussons could continue expansion in food
UK consumer goods group PZ Cussons does the bulk of its business in areas like personal care and beauty but it has food interests in Africa and Australia – and in recent days it has added to its food stable with the acquisition of Australian yoghurt business Five:Am. Dean Best looks at PZ’s expansion in food and discusses how much of a priority the sector is for the Carex handwash and Charles Worthington shampoo maker.

SAUDI/KUWAIT: Savola confirms Americana takeover talks
Saudi Arabian food manufacturer Savola Group has confirmed it has started initial talks with Kuwait Food Co., also known as Americana Group, to acquire a stake in the company.