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M&A and joint ventures

COMMENT: KKR places bets on Vietnam with Masan investment

9 January 2013 | Michelle Russell

While multinationals and private equity firms scramble to grab a slice of the dynamic emerging markets of China and India, buyout firm KKR appears to have its eye firmly on the smaller Southeast Asian country of Vietnam. What does it know?... read more

Comment: Dole Food Co changes yet to bear fruit

3 January 2013 | Chris Mercer

Dole Food Co's share price nose-dive, following worse-than-expected earnings guidance, highlights that the fresh fruit and vegetable giant will have to work hard to rebuild confidence in 2013.... read more

The most-read comment from just-food in 2012

18 December 2012 | Dean Best

just-food does not shy away from commenting on the major developments and issues in the industry and this year its focus centred on issues from traffic-light labels to sustainability, on deals like Kellogg's takeover of Pringles and Arla Foods' latest venture in China.... read more

Sustainability Watch - Narrowing the Atlantic divide

26 November 2012 | Ben Cooper

It is often said that European companies are ahead of their US counterparts in how they view corporate sustainability, with the latter too narrowly focused on environmental impacts under their immediate control and failing to see the bigger picture. Ben Cooper found at this year's FMI/GMA Sustainability Summit that attitudes are changing.... read more

Best bits: Vion UK exit set to strengthen rivals

26 November 2012 | Dean Best

Vion's plans to exit the UK could strengthen the hand of the meat giant's local rivals Cranswick and Hilton Food Group, operating in a market with over-capacity and facing high feed and pig costs.... read more

COMMENT: Premier reorganisation could bring home bread

4 October 2012 | Katy Askew

Premier Foods announced yesterday (4 October) that it will divide its grocery and bread businesses as it looks to drive growth of its "power brands". While the company will retain the benefits of any crossover between bread and grocery, a greater focus in each division could help Premier maintain its momentum, Katy Askew suggests.... read more

Comment: Kirin's conundrum over Fraser and Neave

28 September 2012 | Chris Mercer

Now that Heineken has airlifted Fraser and Neave's share of Tiger beer out of the company's hands, all eyes turn to Kirin Holdings and ThaiBev's intentions for the Singapore food and drink group, writes Chris Mercer.... read more

Best bits: Premier deal to give Hain Celestial platform for UK growth

29 August 2012 | Dean Best

Hain Celestial, the US food group, has made another acquisition in the UK. It believes the purchase of ambient brands from Premier Foods will help it grow in the market and provide a way to take US products into the UK. Analysts broadly welcomed the deal, even if there was concern about the quality of assets Hain is taking on.... read more

Best bits: Campbell correct to chase chilled growth

16 July 2012 | Dean Best

In M&A circles, Campbell Soup Co., the US food giant, has been seen as one of the more cautious multinational companies in recent years but its acquisition of Bolthouse Farms - the largest in its history - was a correct move, writes Dean Best.... read more

Comment: Emmi looks further afield for growth

10 July 2012 | Katy Askew

Swiss dairy group Emmi is investing in building its presence overseas by upping its stake in two European dairy firms - France's Diprola and Kaiku. Emmi wants to reduce its dependence on the stagnant Swiss dairy market and the deals will strengthen its position in key European markets as well as developing its footprint in fast-growing emerging markets, notably in Latin America.... read more

Street talk: Pressure to grow affects prices and promotions

25 June 2012 | Rod Street

The economic difficulties faced by consumers across Europe mean that FMCG retailers and manufacturers must master a tough balancing act well into the middle of the decade, trading off volumes and margins, writes SymphonyIRI's Rod Street.... read more

Best bits: Casino, Carrefour, Danone give French flavour to headlines

25 June 2012 | Dean Best

There was a French flavour to the major industry headlines last week. Casino triumphantly announced its control of Brazil's largest retailer CBD. The new CEO at rival French retailer Carrefour made his first public comments about the challenges the company faces, while food manufacturer Danone issued a profit warning, citing problems in southern Europe.... read more

Best bits: The risks of Arla's fresh push in China

18 June 2012 | Dean Best

Dairy giant Arla Foods has announced a significant deal in China with local company Mengniu. The Danish-Swedish co-op says the venture represents a "breakthrough" for its brand in China but, with food safety a concern in the country, there are potential risks, as well as rewards, for the company.... read more

Best bits: General Mills reacts to power shift

28 May 2012 | Dean Best

General Mills, the US food group, last week made two announcements that underlined the macro-economic dynamics consumer packaged goods firms are battling. The company announced job cuts it says will make it more productive and free up resources to invest in the stagnant markets of the West - and further afield in the BRICs and beyond. Dean Best reports.... read more

Comment: Nestle pays the piper with Pfizer deal

23 April 2012 | Katy Askew

Announcing its US$11.85bn acquisition of Pfizer's baby food unit this morning (23 April), it was interesting to note that Nestle took a slightly unusual tact in presenting the deal multiples.... read more

Comment: Could Pfizer be playing hardball over baby food?

19 April 2012 | Katy Askew

Anticipation is mounting over the likely sale of Pfizer's baby food business, with an announcement widely expected next week.... read more

Best bits: The inexact science of consumer confidence, M&A

26 March 2012 | Dean Best

It was a week in which bold predictions were made on commodity costs, consumer confidence and M&A but, as Dean Best writes, uncertainty shrouds all three topics.... read more

Best bits: Iceland Foods seals week of headlines for UK retail

12 March 2012 | Dean Best

It was, in the end, no major surprise. But it did mark the end of a saga that had lasted the best part of two years. A consortium led by Malcolm Walker, founder and chief executive of UK frozen food retailer Iceland Foods, has taken over the company.... read more

Comment: US food industry braces for challenge ahead

27 February 2012 | Katy Askew

The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart was able to report some encouraging news last week, when it unveiled improved domestic sales for the final quarter of 2011.... read more

Comment: Pringles buy is bold move from Kellogg

15 February 2012 | Dean Best

The acquisition of Pringles is a step-change for Kellogg. However, the US cereals giant faces a formidable competitor in savoury snacks in PepsiCo, which has seven of the world's top ten brands and will be focused on rebounding after a challenging year. And Kellogg also faces tough markets in the US and Europe in its core cereals business.... read more

Best bits: Muller faces challenges in UK milk sector

16 January 2012 | Dean Best

Muller and Robert Wiseman Dairies are talking up the benefits of the German yoghurt maker's planned takeover of the UK milk supplier but profits in the sector have been under pressure in recent months.... read more

Best bits: Caution over India's retail ruling

28 November 2011 | Dean Best

Multinational retailers beware. For all the headlines last week, the passage into India's fledgling and potentially lucrative retail sector is likely to be anything but smooth.... read more

Best bits: Firms tackle economic gloom

7 November 2011 | Sam Webb

There's been a sense of boldness from the world of food this past week, with companies making interesting moves into new products, acquisitions and territories.... read more

Best bits: Ralcorp stands firm as ConAgra ups ante

15 August 2011 | Dean Best

ConAgra Foods, keen to tap into the growing private-label market in the US, has made a higher bid for Ralcorp Holdings. Its takeover target, however, has again rejected the company's advances.... read more

Best bits: Grocery sector remains a sticky wicket

25 July 2011 | Dean Best

With the sun having shone over much of the UK today (25 July) - and with England winning the Test match against India at Lord's - just-food is reluctant to dampen the mood but, in recent days, there has been yet more evidence of how tough trading conditions are.... read more

Best bits: Brasil Foods and Premier look to the future

18 July 2011 | Dean Best

The largest food manufacturers in Brazil and the UK can look ahead with more certainty than they could a week ago, Dean Best writes, but doubts still hang over the future of Latin American country's biggest retailer.... read more

In the spotlight: Uniq shows Greencore still has appetite for M&A

12 July 2011 | Petah Marian

Despite its bid for Northern Foods failing earlier this year, Greencore has not lost its appetite for M&A with the announcement of a bid for food-to-go and desserts manufacturer Uniq. But, with the many challenges facing Uniq, and the UK private-label sector on the whole, is it a good investment? Petah Marian reports.... read more

Best bits: Nestle, Lactalis secure prized deals

11 July 2011 | Dean Best

In the last 72 hours, Nestle and Lactalis have struck significant pieces of M&A, writes Dean Best.... read more

Best bits: Casino and Carrefour do battle over Brazil

4 July 2011 | Dean Best

In a story that has had more twists and turns than the samba, the battle for Brazil's largest retailer CBD has pit two of Europe's largest grocers against each other.... read more

Comment: Ebro will look elsewhere after SunRice blow

7 June 2011 | Dean Best

Ebro Foods' failure to win over SunRice shareholders in its pursuit of the Australian rice firm will be a blow to the Spanish company but, Dean Best writes, more M&A targets are likely to be in the pipeline.... read more

Best bits: Business victims as E. coli mistakes rock consumers

6 June 2011 | Dean Best

So, now it appears that bean sprouts are the cause behind the E. coli outbreak that has rocked Europe's produce sector and killed - at the latest count - 22 people.... read more

Best bits: Sun rises on Wal-Mart's South African venture

31 May 2011 | Dean Best

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has received two pieces of good news in its bid to continue its expansion into the world's emerging markets.... read more

Best bits: West ends Hershey tenure; Iceland Foods sale begins

24 May 2011 | Dean Best

Dave West, raised eyebrows last week with his decision to, well, head west and leave his post as Hershey chief executive for the top job at Del Monte Foods. But will Hershey's fortunes head south in the wake of West's departure?... read more

Best bits: Wal-Mart's US woes set to continue

16 May 2011 | Dean Best

The publication of first-quarter numbers rumbles on this week, with eyes turning to the latest financial performance at Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.... read more

Best bits: ConAgra's Ralcorp ambitions; Sainsbury's faces questions

9 May 2011 | Dean Best

Last week's column featured news of takeover interest in Ralcorp Holdings, the US food group behind a swathe of private-label products and the Post cereals brand - and since then, ConAgra Foods has declared its hand.... read more