Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey said sales in international markets have accelerated their initial forecast

Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey said sales in international markets have accelerated their initial forecast

This week, key M&A announcements dominated the headlines with US food maker Hain Celestial acquiring UK chilled foods firm Daniels Group, in a bid to expand the international presence of both companies. Ireland-based Greencore was in sales talks with unnamed sources. Meanwhile, rival confectioneries Ferrero and Hershey look to expand overseas. 

"If you walk into a Tesco and say you're part of the Daniels Group, they're not going to say 'Who?' anymore" - Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon believes its acquisition of Daniels will give Hain a presence in the UK, whilst also shedding some light onto the company's problems in the UK.

"We believe that existing investors should wait and see the nature of any bid but we would be concerned about accepting an offer for less than EUR1.00; indeed at that level Greencore is far from hot cake territory" - Shore Capital analyst Clive Black is wary of accepting an offer of less than EUR1 a share. 

"Therefore, if our business outside the US and Canada continues to grow with the current organic rates, we could achieve our target of $1 billion in sales earlier than our 2015 objective" - Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey said sales in international markets have accelerated their initial forecast.

"At the moment we are operating at two-thirds capacity. We need access to raw cane sugar and if the EC does not give us a level playing field clearly there's a risk to the future of the business " - A spokesman for Tate & Lyle Sugars outlines concerns over the viability of the 133-year old Tate & Lyle refinery in London.

"Turkey is strategically interesting, not only as an internal market but also because it influences nearby countries like Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan" - Ferrero UK managing director Christian Walter believes Turkey is of strategic importance as the company plans to build a production plant in Western Turkey in 2013 as part of its plans for growth in the region.

"The response to Kerry/Headland's initial post-merger price rise showed that customers do have sufficient supply alternatives readily available and at a competitive cost" - Laura Carstensen, the Competition Commission's deputy chairman explains why the UK competition watchdog has provisionally cleared the Kerry Group's acquisition of frozen food firm Headland Foods

"I would like Europe to get some sense and realise that GM crops will have to be accepted" - Richard Adee, the Washington legislative committee chairman at the American Honey Producers Association expressed his concerns that an EU ruling on pollen could flood the US market with imports.

"All three commercial operations accomplish the company's development expectations and give us the opportunity to create value, meanwhile allowing us to enhance the experience we've acquired over 65 years," - Grupo Bimbo CEO Daniel Servitje said the company is set to see its sales jump by more than a quarter as a result of its three recent acquisitions.

"At the same time, we will give priority to seeking out new companies operating in categories close to our present businesses, while maintaining our centre of gravity in the Nordic region. In our view, the unrest in the financial markets may offer greater opportunities for value-creating acquisitions" - Orkla president and CEO Bjørn Wiggen said it would look to acquire new businesses to strengthen its presence in that sector.

"The board considers that if Pfizer finally decides to dispose of its infant nutrition business, this will be an event capturing attention in the dairy industry and the group will closely monitor the development as other dairy producers would do" - Mengniu Dairy played down reports that it is preparing a bid for the baby food business of US pharmaceuticals giant Pfitzer.