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July 15, 2011

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

Premier Foods' appointment of Kraft's Mike Clarke as its new CEO this week was a surprise move but one welcomed by the market. Investors in Brasil Foods were also cheered by the news that the 2009 merger that created the company was cleared by Brazil's competition watchdog. However, a plan to combine Brazil's largest retailer, CBD, with Carrefour's local operations was halted amid continued opposition from Casino, which prompted the country's national development bank to pull planned funding for the deal. Click on the headlines for more.

By Dean Best

Premier Foods’ appointment of Kraft’s Mike Clarke as its new CEO this week was a surprise move but one welcomed by the market. Investors in Brasil Foods were also cheered by the news that the 2009 merger that created the company was cleared by Brazil’s competition watchdog. However, a plan to combine Brazil’s largest retailer, CBD, with Carrefour’s local operations was halted amid continued opposition from Casino, which prompted the country’s national development bank to pull planned funding for the deal. Click on the headlines for more.

On the move: Challenges await new Premier Foods CEO
Premier Foods plc has ended the uncertainty at the top of the company with the appointment of Kraft Foods executive Mike Clarke as its new CEO. The move was welcomed by analysts and investors but they recognise the hard work that lies ahead for the 47-year-old. Petah Marian reports.

BRAZIL: Watchdog clears Brasil Foods merger
Brazil’s antitrust regulators have confirmed they will support the merger that created Brasil Foods, the world’s largest poultry exporter.

BRAZIL: Diniz halts CBD-Carrefour merger plan
Abilio Diniz, the Brazilian tycoon and chairman of CBD, the country’s largest retailer, has put plans to merge the business with Carrefour’s local operations on hold.

US: Industry draws up rules on food advertised to kids
Food manufacturers including Nestle, Hershey and Kraft Foods have published their own uniform guidelines on the nutritional content of products advertised to US children.

In the spotlight: Uniq shows Greencore still has appetite for M&A
Despite its bid for Northern Foods failing earlier this year, Greencore has not lost its appetite for M&A with the announcement of a bid for food-to-go and desserts manufacturer Uniq. But, with the many challenges facing Uniq, and the UK private-label sector on the whole, is it a good investment? Petah Marian reports.

IRELAND/US: Kerry in talks to buy Cargill’s flavours arm
Kerry Group has today (15 July) revealed it is in exclusive talks to buy Cargill’s flavours business.

UPDATE: US: Pfizer baby food sale could spark bidding war – analyst
Pfizer’s plans to sell its baby food business is likely to spark a bidding war between Nestle, Danone and HJ Heinz, according to one analyst.

NEW ZEALAND: Fonterra appoints Spierings as CEO
New Zealand dairy group Fonterra has appointed former Friesland Foods executive Theo Spierings as its CEO.

CHINA: Nestle to buy majority stake in Hsu Fu Chi
Nestle today (11 July) ended the speculation over its interest in Hsu Fu Chi with the announcement that it intends to buy a majority stake in the Chinese confectioner.

SWITZ: Barry Callebaut sells Europe consumer unit to Baronie
Barry Callebaut, the business-to-business chocolate maker, has sold its European consumer unit Stollwerck to privately-owned Dutch firm Baronie Group.

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