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M&A and joint ventures

Comment: Morrisons and Ocado - a very odd couple

29 November 2010 | Petah Marian

While there was speculation late last week about the possibility of Morrisons snapping up online operator Ocado, I can't imagine two companies that would make more of an odd couple.... read more

Best bits: Irish retail braces for austerity, Del Monte prepares for new owners

29 November 2010 | Dean Best

"It's a staggeringly austere budget, the cuts are deep and it will hurt." The stark words of one analyst last week after Ireland announced its plans to tackle the country's debt crisis.... read more

Comment: YoCream buy is Danone's latest move to diversify

26 November 2010 | Dean Best

To some in the financial community, Danone's move to buy US frozen-yoghurt maker YoCream International this week may not - to use the jargon - have been "material" enough to warrant too much attention. However, the US$103m deal remains another significant sign of the French food giant's moves to diversify its business.... read more

BRICs and beyond: Heinz looks to emerging markets for 'secret sauce'

25 November 2010 | Petah Marian

With sales in Heinz's developed markets stagnating, the US food manufacturer has turned its attentions to developing markets to drive growth.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

19 November 2010 | just-food.com

The merger between Greencore and Northern Foods, the race to own Yoplait, reform of Europe's farm policy and Unilever's new push on sustainability all got people talking this week. Here is the best of who said what.... read more

Talking shop: Is Australia a closed shop for retailers?

19 November 2010 | Petah Marian

The Australian competition watchdog's decision to block the sale of retailer Franklins to local distributor Metcash has highlighted the heavily concentrated nature of the grocery industry in the country.... read more

Comment: Lactalis pursuit for Yoplait unlikely to be smooth

18 November 2010 | Dean Best

Lactalis, the privately-owned French dairy giant and owner of brands from President cheese and UK organic business Rachel's, has fired the starting gun on the race for global yoghurt brand Yoplait.... read more

Best bits: Bimbo bolstered, Dean Foods down, Emmi expanding

15 November 2010 | Dean Best

A message to our US readers: as you eat your lunch today, consider that, according to some estimates, one in three sandwiches made in the US will now be made with bread made by Grupo Bimbo.... read more

BRICs and beyond: East benefits from the global economy's shifting sands

9 November 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

Of all the media coverage of this economic crisis, one line has stuck in my mind more than any other, and it perfectly sums up the shifting global economic axis. "This isn't a global recession, it's a Western recession."... read more

Focus: Why Pioneer Foods is interested in winemaker KWV

3 November 2010 | just-food.com

What would the synergies be should Pioneer Foods, South Africa's second-largest food company, purchase KWV Holdings, the country's number two wine and spirit maker?... read more

Talking shop: Japan's retailers look abroad for growth

29 October 2010 | Petah Marian

Japan's major grocery retailers are looking to their Asian neigbours for expansion, as their home country's bleak economic landscape has stymied growth in recent years. Petah Marian investigates Japan's economy and which countries these retail giants are looking to conquer.... read more

Focus: What now for United Biscuits?

27 October 2010 | Dean Best

Has Bright Food, the Chinese food group, decided not to p-p-p-p-pick up Penguin biscuit owner United Biscuits?... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

22 October 2010 | just-food.com

Commodity costs may not be reaching the levels seen in 2007 but there are signs of growing pressure on food manufacturers. In this month's just-food interview, Groupe Doux CEO Guy Odri explained why the poultry giant is urging retailers to push through price increases. Elsewhere this week, Yakult failed in its attempt to get EU clearance for health claims, food ingredients maker Ajinomoto defended aspartame from the critics and Mars Inc explained it is planning to realign its chocolate business worldwide.... read more

Comment: Is Russia resurgent?

18 October 2010 | Dean Best

Russia, the world's 12th largest economy was hit hard by the global downturn. The drop in global manufacturing demand hit resource-rich Russia hard, which saw its GDP slump by 7.9% during 2009 in what was the country's worst recession in a decade.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

15 October 2010 | just-food.com

Europe's food retail industry is set for further consolidation, analysts said this week, while speculation continued to grow over the ownership of global dairy brand Yoplait. Here's the best of what was said this week.... read more

Best bits: Unilever, SOS, Premier next in M&A spotlight

4 October 2010 | Dean Best

The recent appetite for M&A in the food industry is showing little sign of abating.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

1 October 2010 | just-food.com

Analysts saw reasons to be cautious over the big events of the week, pouring cold water on Wal-Mart's plans to enter Africa through its planned acquisition of Massmart and expressing concern over Denise Morrison as the new CEO of Campbell Soup Co. The six-month war of words between Casey's General Stores and Couche-Tard seems to have ended, with the Canadian operator letting its tender offer expire. Here's the best of what was said this week.... read more

Best bits: M&A spotlight shines on McVitie's, Pringles and Yoplait

27 September 2010 | Dean Best

The battle to buy United Biscuits apparently now has an Eastern flavour.... read more

Comment: Stalling M&A activity points to faltering recovery

23 September 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

As we have pondered in this column before, there are many indicators as to whether we are heading towards any sort of sustainable economic recovery, from employment levels to GDP growth and the housing sector. But one of the more interesting is the level of merger and acquisition activity in the market.... read more

Best bits: Carrefour reaches for the stars with Planet stores

20 September 2010 | Dean Best

With its all-new Carrefour Planet hypermarket chain and with a target of 18% sales growth in five years, the French retail giant is clearly reaching for the stars. But will the French retail giant succeed?... read more

BRICs and beyond: CIVETS markets line up to shape economic future

10 September 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

In a new weekly column focusing on the world's emerging markets, just-food's Chris Brook-Carter looks at the latest acronym to shape business thinking on the developing world - CIVETS.... read more

Best bits: Wal-Mart faces tougher US market

23 August 2010 | Petah Marian

Manufacturers found reason to breathe a sigh of relief last week as Wal-Mart announced it would be reversing a number of the range rationalisation initiatives it undertook as part of its 'Project Impact' scheme.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

6 August 2010 | just-food.com

A furore erupted in the UK earlier this week after meat from the offspring of a cloned cow entering the food chain. The news put the Food Standards Agency firmly in the spotlight, with the agency insisting the meat was safe but stating selling it was illegal - a stance the EU described to us as "slightly strict". Meanwhile, Kellogg announced plans to cut the amount of sugar in its Coco Pops cereals in the UK and just-food interviewed Kellogg UK boss Greg Peterson.... read more

Comment: Second thoughts on private-equity secondary buyouts

3 August 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

Type the term 'private equity' into just-food and the site will return 26 separate articles in July alone. The high return is not only a reflection of the food sector's ability to attract investment in uncertain times, it is also an indication of a rising number of secondary buyouts – where private-equity sells to private-equity rather than back to the trade.... read more

Best bits: Picard, Rachel's, John West deals all raise questions

2 August 2010 | Dean Best

Each of last week's three major M&A deals - the sale of French frozen-food retailer Picard to yet another private equity house, dairy giant Lactalis buying UK organic firm Rachel's and MWBrands, the canned seafood group that is home to brands like John West, moving into Thai hands - offered as many questions as they had answers.... read more

Best bits: private equity dining at M&A table

26 July 2010 | Dean Best

From frozen food to fromage frais, the last seven days have seen an upturn in talk about M&A in the food industry.... read more

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

23 July 2010 | just-food.com

Tengelmann's appointment of the second CEO of its US-based A&P chain in the US, its second in six months, piqued our interest, while the potential sale of UK biscuit and snack maker United Biscuits has captured the industry's imagination. Ocado's IPO finally got away, but not without the industry sounding off about its bleak prospects. The future of the Foods Standards Agency was sealed, and as expected, it lost its remit over nutrition and labelling. Here's the pick of what was said this week.... read more

Comment: Private equity most likely to bite at United Biscuits

23 July 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

It will come as no surprise to those following the food industry news to learn that two of the top five most-read stories on just-food this week are about the potential sale of UK snack and biscuit maker United Biscuits.... read more

Best bits: Tate & Lyle, Pick n Pay bite the bullet

5 July 2010 | Dean Best

In business, some of the most critical decisions involve when to quit a venture, exit a market or sell an asset.... read more

COMMENT: Brace - but not too hard - for the double dip recession

2 July 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

Last week, I used just-food's weekly editorial round-up and the G20 Summit as background to discuss whether the Western economies were finally out of recession. The news since has been almost universally bad.... read more

Comment: What is the future for Tesco in the US?

1 July 2010 | Petah Marian

While Tesco's North American foray has been besieged with challenges and setbacks, criticism this week that the unit's lack of profitability is a sign of the retailer's complete and utter failure in the country is perhaps calling the death knell too soon.... read more

Comment: UK coalition still needs to guide on healthy eating

1 July 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

The role of the state on individuals' lives is a debate that is dominating political life in the US and here in the UK at the moment, whether it be health reform or sweeping changes to the welfare system.... read more

Comment: JBS may bite off more than it could chew with Smithfield

30 June 2010 | Dean Best

A telling reaction to rumours that JBS could look to hold talks with Smithfield Foods to buy the US business was the slump in the Brazilian meat giant's share price.... read more

Best bits: G20 fails to deliver clear path forward

28 June 2010 | Chris Brook-Carter

Are we or are we not headed for a double-dip recession? This is the question that has dominated talks at the G20 summit over the last few days.... read more

Comment: Marfrig faces threat of indigestion amid global expansion

18 June 2010 | Dean Best

The humble chicken nugget grabbed the M&A headlines in the food industry this week after Brazilian food group Marfrig... read more