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April 24, 2015

Food industry news of the week: Iglo, Blue Bell Creameries, Hershey

The EUR2.6bn sale of European frozen food giant and Birds Eye owner Iglo Group grabbed the headlines this week - and we looked at where the new owners - Nomad Holdings - could look next. Blue Bell Creameries, the US ice cream maker linked to a fatal listeria outbreak, was in the spotlight for very different reasons, pulling all its products from the market after fresh tests.

By Dean Best

The EUR2.6bn (US$2.83bn) sale of European frozen food giant and Birds Eye owner Iglo Group grabbed the headlines this week – and we looked at where the new owners – Nomad Holdings – could look next. Blue Bell Creameries, the US ice cream maker linked to a fatal listeria outbreak, was in the spotlight for very different reasons, pulling all its products from the market after fresh tests.

M&A Watch: Nomad's post-Iglo opportunities Nomad Holdings, the recently-established, UK-listed company set up by FMCG veterans Martin Franklin and Noam Gottesman to buy consumer goods firms, made its first move this week with the acquisition of European frozen food supplier Iglo Group. Stefan Kirk, just-food M&A columnist and advisor at Glenboden, weighs up where Nomad could move next.

On the money: Hershey's long-term confidence on China Confectionery giant Hershey saw sales in China come under pressure in the first quarter of 2015, a result of the government crackdown on gifting and macro-economic factors in the country. Hershey does not expect to turn this around soon, but insists it is putting the "right" things in place to secure its long-term growth in China. Hannah Abdulla reports.

Editor's viewpoint: PepsiCo's Nooyi underlines the challenge on health PepsiCo yesterday (22 April) reported a set of solid underlying first-quarter results. But it was away from the numbers that the US food and drinks giant stirred more interest, with Indra Nooyi's comments on the need to adapt to the changing ways consumers define health attracting attention.

Blue Bell pulls all ice cream on listeria tests Blue Bell Creameries, the US ice cream firm linked to a fatal listeria outbreak, has pulled all of its products from the market after fresh tests found more contaminated products.

Tesco delists Rachel's Organic yoghurt range Lactalis-owned UK dairy business Rachel's Organic has confirmed supermarket Tesco has delisted its yoghurt range.

Pork Farms' Kerry pastry deal nears green light The UK competition regulator has "provisionally cleared" Pork Farms' takeover of Kerry Group's chilled savoury pastry business.

ABF confident bakery efforts will pay off Associated British Foods has insisted it is making the right moves to tackle the problem of aggressive competition in the UK and Australia's bakery sectors, two markets where its sales are under pressure.

Podravka to buy control of Slovenia's Zito Croatia-based food group Podravka has struck a deal to buy over 51% of Slovenian confectionery-to-pasta firm Zito for EUR33m.

Edita acquires MENA rights to Hostess brands Egypt-based bakery group Edita Food Industries has expanded its ownership of Hostess Brands LLC's HoHo's, Twinkies and Tiger Tail brands to 12 additional Middle Eastern and North African markets.

Valio mulling 320 job cuts Valio, the Finnish dairy group, has begun negotiations with around 2,900 employees with the expectation 320 positions will be eliminated from its operations division and head office.

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