ConAgra Foods announced that it will sell off its loss-making private label business yesterday (30 June) in a move that, the company said, will help unlock value for its shareholders. But selling off private brands...
The investment in ConAgra's shares by hedge fund Jana Partners has prompted speculation that the group will sell one of its divisions, in order to better realise shareholder value. While the emphasis seems to be so far on ConAgra's troubled Private brands business, Stefan Kirk of M&A advisory Glenboden believes that the Commercial foods unit should be the divestment priority.
ConAgra Foods came under even more pressure to start delivering returns to shareholders last week when activist investor Jana Partners revealed it has taken a stake in the US food company. Shareholders have long grumbled about the seeming incompatibility between ConAgra's branded and private-label business, with shares in the under-performing US food maker at all time highs on the expectation that disposals must soon come. Are there more options open to ConAgra management than simply carving up the business? Katy Askew investigates.
After a challenging previous financial year, ConAgra Foods yesterday (18 September) reported on the first three months of its new fiscal period. Shares in the US food group rose as it reported underlying earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts and stuck to its expectations for annual earnings - notable after 12 months that included three profit warnings.