This week, Swedish confectionery companies Cloetta and Leaf International revealed plans to merge. Elsewhere, Carrefour announced plans to buy its French retail franchise partner Guyenne et Gascogne and, on this side of the Channel, Premier Foods plc sold off another division, this time in Ireland to The Boyne Valley Group.
“This merger is a perfect match where we will unite iconic, local brands, from complementary categories with very few overlaps…in an industry where the brand is nearly as important as the taste of the product, this transaction makes both industrial and strategic sense” – Leaf International CEO Bengt Baron hails the confectioner’s plans to merge with rival Cloetta.
“Like Tesco, they need to perform in their home market in terms of profitability…But it’s going to hurt Carrefour as it is in such a difficult situation and investors are already worried. While it was necessary, it was a difficult move. It’s a bit of a case of damned if you and damned if you don’t” – Verdict Retail analyst Cliona Lynch sums up French retail giant Carrefour’s dilemma over acquiring franchise partner Guyenne et Gascogne.
“The sale of these Irish brands will enable us to focus on supporting our power brands in line with our overall strategy. Coming hard on the heels of the announcement of the Brookes Avana sale agreement, this underlines our determination to streamline the business to help restore profitable growth quickly” – Premier CEO Michael Clarke said the sale of its Irish business was another step to scaling back the UK food company and allowing it to focus on its core brands.
“Kraft Foods, General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle USA, and other egg purchasers suffered damages because they paid higher prices than they would have if it weren’t for the conspiracy. As a result, we have filed a lawsuit against UEP and several of its members. We have collectively filed a lawsuit to recover the substantial overcharges we paid” – a spokesperson for Kraft Foods explains why the company and some its fellow US manufacturers have filed a lawsuit against egg producers, accusing them of operating a price-fixing cartel.
“Just weeks away from Christmas, these letters sent out to staff telling them that they will shortly be made redundant is nothing short of disgraceful” – Unite union regional officer Ivan Crane branded Young Seafood’s plans for redundancies at The Cromer Crab Co “disgraceful” and said they will have an “immense” effect on the local economy.
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“If you’re going to do the healthy, you have to do the core, because we still have a very strong business in the core…If you’re going to push healthy, you still need to push indulgence” – Albert Carey, chief executive of PepsiCo’s beverage business in the Americas reportedly told an industry conference, that the US food and drink giant will look to continue to pay attention to its “indulgent” products amid investor concern that the company has moved too far into healthier categories.
“Management did not give any reason for the suspension of the talks and we have requested that more information be disclosed but have yet to receive a reply” – A union official at Findus France’s plant in Boulogne-sur-Mer after private-equity firm Lion Capital suspended talks to sell its Findus unit in France to a potential buyer.
“The US chicken industry is encountering permanent rather than cyclical changes which will require significant changes in how the industry operates in the future” – a spokesman from industry analysts Rabobank warns US poultry farmers must adapt to a sector that is very different to decades ago.
“Faced with a requirement of regulatory authorities, our company is providing all the information requested to assist in the investigations carried out, while expressing its willingness to cooperate in any steps required” – A spokesperson from Wal-Mart said the Chile issue is “completely unrelated” to its own ongoing corruption probe.
“This is part of our on-going effort to build a long-term sustainable ice cream business in this market. While suspending the retail sales and closing the Shanghai factory, we will reinforce the success of the business in the south and the north” -a spokesperson for Nestle confirmed that the company plans to close a factory in Shanghai as it looks to refocus its ice cream business in China.