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June 4, 2010

Top stories on just-food this week

Speculation over the future of Dean Foods' UK dairy unit Rachel's Organic and the will-they-won't-they merger of French dairies Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance grabbed your attention this week - as did one confirmed piece of M&A: the acquisition of organic baby food business Plum Baby.

Speculation over the future of Dean Foods’ UK dairy unit Rachel’s Organic and the will-they-won’t-they merger of French dairies Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance grabbed your attention this week – as did one confirmed piece of M&A: the acquisition of organic baby food business Plum Baby. Still in the UK, the future of major own-label supplier Northern Foods raised questions, while our feature on private label in the US also proved popular with you. Here are the most-read stories on the site this week.

US/UK: Dean Foods “puts Rachel’s Organic on the block”US dairy giant Dean Foods has appointed advisers to look into the possible sale of UK unit Rachel’s Organic.

US private-label growth is about more than parsimonyRetailer brands have done very well during the recession in the US. But, Ben Cooper writes, the growth and the concomitant weakening of affiliation between US shoppers and established household brands was an ongoing trend before the financial crisis and will continue after it.

UK: Private equity swoops for Plum BabyUK organic baby food business Plum Baby has become the latest company to be acquired by a private-equity firm after it agreed a GBP10m (US$14.6m) takeover.

On the money: Northern eyes Goodfella’s growth from relaunchNorthern Foods is hoping the relaunch of Goodfella’s pizza will help turn around an “unacceptable” performance in the last year, providing a platform for growth.

US: Kellogg agrees to drop immunity health claimKellogg has agreed to pull a health claim it made on Rice Krispies in the US, the country’s advertising watchdog said today (3 June).

BAHRAIN: Waitrose to open first Bahrain outletUpmarket UK retailer Waitrose is preparing to open its first supermarket in Bahrain as it looks to expand in the Middle East.

FRANCE: R&R acquires ice cream maker RollandR&R Ice Cream has confirmed the acquisition of France’s third-largest ice-cream maker Rolland for an undisclosed sum.

FRANCE: John West owner MWBrands “attracts trade interest”John West owner MWBrands has reportedly attracted trade interest alongside the already rumoured suitors from private equity.

DENMARK: Chr Hansen launches floatChr Hansen will launch its initial public offering on the Copenhagen stock exchange this morning (3 June), in a float that values the company at about DKK12.42bn (US$2.05bn).

FRANCE: Sodiaal signs “draft” Entremont takeover dealSodiaal’s bid for French dairy peer Entremont Alliance appears to have moved closer to completion with a draft agreement between the two sides after months of talks.

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