United Biscuits owners are said to have put three bidders on shortlist

United Biscuits' owners are said to have put three bidders on shortlist

Tesco's admission it had over-stated profits stunned the market on Monday, the latest chapter in a troubling period for the UK's largest retailer. Elsewhere, bids of over GBP2bn were tabled for United Biscuits, Fonterra posted a plunge in profits but outlined its strategy to ride out volatility in dairy markets and we analysed the M&A ambitions of two Asian food giants - Ajinomoto and Thai Union Frozen Products.

Editor's viewpoint: Baptism of fire for new Tesco CEO Lewis
Tesco's dealings with suppliers appear to be at the centre of the latest problem to emerge at the UK's largest retailer. And it is an issue that has left many industry watchers left shaking their heads in bewilderment today (22 September).

Bids submitted for United Biscuits
The private-equity owners of the UK biscuit maker are understood to have received first-round offers of over GBP2bn - with three bids short-listed. However, Blackstone and PAI Partners remain open to listing the UK snack maker.

In the spotlight: Fonterra's strategy to weather enduring dairy volatility
After reporting a slump in Fonterra's annual profits this week, CEO Theo Spierings was at pains to tell the market the global dairy market will remain erratic. However, the head of the world's largest dairy exporter also outlined how the group plans to ride out changes in supply of and demand for milk.

Analysis: Industry awaits WHO response on beefed-up ad pledges
Companies including Nestle, General Mills and Mondelez International this week extended voluntary restrictions on how they market food to children. Ben Cooper argues the new pledges are a step forward but wonders how the World Health Organization, which has criticised what it calls Big Food, will react.

Chiquita, Fyffes change merger deal to fend off Cutrale-Safra bid
Chiquita Brands International and Fyffes have revised the terms of their deal to merge, in a bid to fend off the takeover bid for the US produce group from Brazilian bidders Cutrale Group and Safra Group.

Focus: How Windsor deal is part of Ajinomoto's global expansion drive
Japanese seasonings and frozen food manufacturer Ajinomoto is expanding its overseas footing. The company became the US's largest ethnic food maker in the frozen category when it acquired Windsor Quality Holdings earlier this month. The deal significantly ramps up Ajinomoto's North American presence - but it is just one step on the group's path to becoming a "global speciality company". Katy Askew reports.

BRICs and beyond: E-tail could sidestep distribution challenge in China
Alibaba Group's massive IPO has underlined that the e-commerce trade in China is booming. Significantly for packaged food manufacturers, online retailers offer a way to circumvent some of the challenges of distribution in this massive market, enabling them to reach out directly to China's population base. However, the soaring popularity of such enterprises also means competition is intense. Food makers must battle to stand out in the crowded online marketplace. Katy Askew reports.

Analysis: Does size matter for Thai Union Frozen's growth plan?
Thai Union Frozen Products has rolled out an ambitious growth plan of hitting US$8bn in sales by 2020. The seafood group has embarked on what appears to be an acquisition spree - adding Norway-based King Oscar and French firm MerAlliance brands to its portfolio. It has also been linked with canned tuna supplier Bumble Bee Foods in the US. But with analysts concerned the two European buys are "insignificant" and Bumble Bee too risky, are these the right companies for TUF?

On the money: Diamond's faith in on-trend portfolio
Diamond Foods expects to return to profitability in its new financial year, pointing to the benefit of an on-trend product portfolio in the US, improved walnut supply and reduced financial costs.

Real Good Food to take ABF sugar complaint to EU
Real Good Food will take its complaint against Associated British Foods' sugar business, British Sugar, to Brussels after the UK's competition authority declined to investigate the row.