Last week, the race to buy Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory took a decisive turn when Murray Goulburn – and WCB investor – accepted the bid from rival suitor Saputo’s takeover bid in what has been an ongoing saga. ConAgra Foods and US retailer Trader Joe’s were accused of breaking competition law, while Cargill settled discrimination claims out of court. There were rumours French meats firm Jean Caby was undergoing a restructure and that United Biscuits could either float or be sold. And there were job losses at Kellogg, UK baker Bright Blue and US meat giant Tyson Foods. Here is the week in quotes.
“Consequently, MG was not able to compete realistically on a level playing field with a competing international bidder for WCB,” Murray Goulburn criticises the bidding process for Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which it believes favoured rival suitor Saputo.
“Given that PepsiCo is not interested in pursuing Plan A, we are encouraging them to pursue Plan B” – Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management investment vehicle says the activist investor will drop his campaign to push for PepsiCo and Mondelez to merge – but he still wants the cola and crisps giant to split in two.
“While we don’t comment on pending litigation, we find this lawsuit to be without merit and intend to vigorously defend this litigation,” a spokesperson for ConAgra believes allegations against it breaking competition law by Maxim Marketing Corporation are groundless.
“What is true is that we are planning a re-organisation of Jean Caby’s structure with a number of options under consideration. But nothing has been finalised at this stage,” Jean Caby’s manager Philippe Beuve dismisses claims a buyer has been found for two of the French meat firm’s plants in Brittany.
“We believe the agency needs to change the way it applies the law to ensure that OFCCP is not forcing employers to violate – by using quotas – the very laws the agency is supposed to be enforcing,” Cargill US lashes out at the Department of Labour after having to payout a $2.2m sum to settle allegations of discrimination against job applicants.
“One of our key objectives is that, for our chosen product sectors, we create industry-leading manufacturing centres of excellence in our most suitable facilities,” CEO Andrew Johnson of Bright Blue on the closure of the Manchester factory and the transfer of products to more modern facilities.
“The consultation includes a proposed reduction of approximately 140 roles that the company hopes can be achieved through early retirement and voluntary redundancies,” Kellogg’s UK announced it is to shed 140 jobs as part of moves to adjust its global production network.
“They also have the opportunity to be recalled for work at Cherokee in the weeks and months ahead if business conditions bring about the need for expanded production or other jobs become open through normal attrition,” a spokesperson for Tyson Foods said while the Cherokee plant closure would leave 60 jobless, there was the possibility that some of the staff may be called back.
“The private-equity firms currently have no firm plans to sell or list the business and have not initiated an auction process,” a source dismissed claims that United Biscuits is up for grabs.
“I have completed an important phase in my life after dedicating 11 years to the development of this company,” CEO Enéas Pestana says it is time to conclude his run at Brazil’s largest retailer CBD.