Business News

Hershey eyes Nestle's US confectionery business as potential bidders line up

17 Oct 2017 --- Four months after Nestlé began to explore options for its US confectionery business, including a potential sale, the company is drawing interest from a range of possible buyers including Hershey’s, which is reportedly preparing a bid. According to US media reports, the chocolate giant is expected to compete against other companies and private equity firms and the first-round bids for the Nestlé business are due later this week. 

UCL study urges European Commission to block Bayer Monsanto merger

17 Oct 2017 --- The so-called mega-merger planned between seed giants Bayer and US-based Monsanto should be blocked under EU competition law, according to a major new study from University College London. Released yesterday (October 16), on World Food Day, the authors of the report claim that the European Commission should be obliged to block the merger, which is currently under an in-depth investigation, even on a narrow reading of EU competition law.

Danone reports accelerated sales growth in Q3, driven by demand for infant formula in China

17 Oct 2017 --- The world’s largest yogurt maker, Danone, has reported better-than-expected Q3 sales results with a 4.7 percent increase, driven by the demand for infant formula and water products specifically in China. The performance came above the company-compiled average of analyst estimates for 2.8 percent growth in group sales. The dairy business improved in the US, where the integration of its acquisition of WhiteWave remained on track. The company also reiterated its full-year guidance. 

BASF buys up Bayer’s seeds assets in US$7 billion deal

13 Oct 2017 --- German chemical company BASF has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses as the giant intends to divest as part of its planned acquisition of Monsanto. Bayer is selling some parts of its business to ease the passage of the planned Monsanto-Bayer megadeal which is still under scrutiny from regulators with competition concerns.

Nestle bolsters infant formula position with new high-tech Russian factory

13 Oct 2017 --- The Swiss transnational food and drink company is strengthening its focus on the highly growing infant formula category with another investment in a Russian-based plant which plans to ramp up production and target export markets in neighboring countries.

US tax reforms “good for farmers”, claims agri secretary

12 Oct 2017 --- US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is strongly supporting the tax reform agenda championed by President Trump, hailing it as a great benefit to American agricultural producers. President Trump highlighted the tax reform proposals in an event in Pennsylvania recently featuring representatives of the trucking and agricultural industry.

Agrana EBIT grows 45 percent, company opens facility at corn starch mill, Austria

12 Oct 2017 --- Sugar, starch and fruit manufacturer Agrana, has delivered compelling results for the first half of the 2017/18 financial year. The company has reported that operating profit (EBIT) grew to €130.6 million (US$154.9 million), a substantial improvement of 44.5 percent from one year earlier. 

Givaudan reports strong sales growth in Q3, maintains 2020 targets

11 Oct 2017 --- In the first nine months of 2017, Givaudan recorded sales of CHF 3,757 million (US$3,854 million), an increase of 3.5 percent on a like-for-like basis and 6.8 percent in Swiss francs compared to the previous year. The company’s Flavor Division sales were CHF 2,017 million (US$2,069 million), an increase of 4.7 percent on a like-for-like basis and an increase of 10.9 percent in Swiss Francs (CHF).

DSM evaluates food & biotech start-up pitches

10 Oct 2017 --- Royal DSM hosted a successful Innovation Partnering Conference in conclusion of the Connecting Bright Innovations 2017 held this year in Delft, The Netherlands. A total of eight promising start-ups were invited to pitch at the event, which focused on new and innovative products and biotechnologies for food, health and biotech applications. A panel of expert venturing and innovation specialists is evaluating the pitches with a view to their suitability for further financing and partnering opportunities. 

Diageo revives famous “lost” Scotch distilleries to tap single malt demand

10 Oct 2017 --- Port Ellen and Brora, two of the most revered “lost” distilleries in the global spirits industry, are to be brought back to life in what whisky company Diageo is calling a powerful statement of confidence in the future of Scotch whisky. The distilleries, which have been silent since they were closed in 1983, will be brought back into production through a £35 million (US$46.1 million) investment by Diageo, the world’s leading Scotch whisky company.

Gelnex expands production capacity with fifth gelatin manufacturing plant

09 Oct 2017 --- Gelnex has announced the construction of a new plant in the state of Mato Grosso (Brazil). The project, fully established within the company’s long-term growth plan, has as its main goal an extension of its production capacity, from the current 28,000 metric tons a year to 35,000 metric tons a year.

Firmenich reports 4.4 percent sales growth, progress in sugar reduction solutions

06 Oct 2017 --- Firmenich has announced strong results for its fiscal year 2017, as it recorded CHF3.34 billion (US$3.41 billion) in net sales, an increase of 4.4 percent in Swiss Francs. With all its business units posting steady growth, the group says it further consolidated its' number one position as the leading private company in fine fragrance and ingredients.

SternMaid America invests in can filling line

06 Oct 2017 --- Looking to fulfill growing demand from the food and nutraceuticals industries, the Illinois, US-based contract manufacturer and co-packer SternMaid America has installed a modern double-head system to increase the capacity of its can filling line. Including further peripheral plant components, the company has invested some US$300,000 in this capacity extension.

Capol acquires Colarome to strengthen North American position

06 Oct 2017 --- Elmshorn-based Capol GmbH, a Business Unit of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, SE & Co. KG (FCS), is set to acquire Colarôme Inc., Saint Hubert, Canada with immediate effect. Capol expects to benefit from future important synergies both for product innovation and market penetration. As part of the acquisition, Capol obtains a new production plant in North America which will further strengthen the business in this region and abroad.

Lesaffre opens new Baking Center in Italy

06 Oct 2017 --- Thomas Maréchal, General Manager of Lesaffre Italia has officially opened a new Baking Center at the Sissa Trecasali production site in Parma.

Food price rise: Vegetable oil prices offset declining staple grains

06 Oct 2017 --- Global food prices rose slightly in September, as firmer prices of vegetable oils and to a lesser extent dairy products offset declining prices for staple cereal grains, according to the UN’s FAO Food Price Index. The Price Index averaged 178.4 points for the month of September, up 0.8 percent from August and marking a 4.3 percent increase from a year earlier. 

Monsanto reports "encouraging" results, Bayer merger on track

05 Oct 2017 --- Monsanto Company, which is in the process of merging with fellow multinational Bayer, reports that it concluded the fiscal year 2017 with encouraging results including as-reported earnings per share (EPS) of US$5.09, up from last year’s as-reported full-year EPS of US$2.99. The company adds that EPS is expected to grow in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

Barry Callebaut completes D’Orsogna Dolciaria acquisition

05 Oct 2017 --- Barry Callebaut has successfully closed the acquisition of D’Orsogna Dolciaria. The integration will start as of today and the parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction. The initial announcement was made in July, earlier this year. You can read the article here

Tetra Pak strengthens ice cream offering with Big Drum acquisition

04 Oct 2017 --- Tetra Pak is strengthening its product offerings for ice cream manufacturers with the acquisition of Big Drum Engineering GmbH, a supplier of filling machines for the industry. The deal further extends the company’s ability to provide end-to-end solutions for food and beverage companies around the world and reinforces its global leadership in the sector.

Unilever set to acquire Mae Terra

03 Oct 2017 --- Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire Brazilian natural and organic food business Mãe Terra. Mãe Terra is a fast-growing and well-loved brand in Brazil, providing health-conscious consumers with organic and nutritious food products since it was set up in 1979. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed and the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.