The move by Dettol-to-Durex maker Reckitt Benckiser to bid for US infant formula group Mead Johnson surprised the market this week. Meanwhile, the industry chewed over reports four suitors were preparing offers for Weetabix. And, in Europe, embattled group Financiere Turenne Lafayette said it received “several” indications of interest in buying the business.

Mead Johnson confirms Reckitt Benckiser takeover bid

US infant nutrition company Mead Johnson has revealed it has received a takeover offer from UK-based consumer health business Reckitt Benckiser.

Weetabix plans GBP30m investment as bidders line up

Weetabix has confirmed that it will push ahead with a GBP30m (US$37.6m) investment to increase production as Nestle, General Mills, Post Holdings, Associated British Foods and Barilla reportedly line up to submit bids for the business.

Financiere Turenne Lafayette receives “several expressions of interest”

French food industry holdings group Financière Turenne Lafayette said it has received “several expressions of interest from important players in the agrifood sector”, after a pool of banks led by Rothschild began searching for a new owner for the embattled business.

Tayto Group buys Portlebay Popcorn from administration

UK crisp maker Tayto Group has bought control of local firm Portlebay Popcorn for an undisclosed sum.

New Advent International-backed vehicle Sovos Brands buys Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods

Sovos Brands, a new vehicle set up by private-equity investor Advent International, has made its first acquisition with the purchase of US frozen entrées supplier Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods.

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McCain Foods plans UK job cuts

French fry manufacturer McCain Foods has confirmed plans to shed jobs at its dry and cold store operations at its Scarborough facility in the UK.

Spanish warning on Europe’s fresh produce shortage

Shortages of vegetable supplies across Europe could continue until at least April as unusually bad weather has cut harvests of fresh produce by up to 60% compared to normal levels, according to the Spanish exporters’ federation of fruits, vegetables and flowers, Fepex.

Cloetta defends share in stagnant markets – 6 things to learn

Cloetta, the Swedish snack maker, reported a loss for 2016 this morning (1 February) primarily due to an impairment charge related to its Italian business. Speaking to analysts during a conference call, however, management was upbeat on the progress it has made in strengthening profitability. Cloetta said it hopes to continue to expand its margins over the coming 12 months and revealed that it wants to grow sales – both organically and through M&A – during 2017. Here are the key takeaways from Cloetta’s 2016 results.

Column – US food industry hesitant amid Trump’s dizzying pace

Donald Trump’s first 11 days in the White House has seen a series of executive orders and, while some have provoked a storm of global headlines, the US food industry is trying to digest what impact the new President could have on the sector. As Ben Cooper writes, so far, the US food industry has been reluctant to comment but that may soon have to change.

Column – UK’s 12-point Brexit plan leaves hard road ahead for food companies

The UK government has now provided a clearer idea of its objectives for the Brexit negotiations. Ben Cooper looks at where Theresa May’s “12-point plan” leaves food companies within the UK and beyond its borders.

Column – Will co-manufacturing grow among Europe’s food makers?

Co-manufacturing is a common way of doing business in the US food sector but the practice is less prevalent in Europe. In his debut column for just-food, Jefferies consumer goods analyst Martin Deboo wonders whether interest in co-manufacturing will start to grow among Europe’s food majors.