European consumer goods correspondent
David's Feed
May 31, 2012

Tate & Lyle finds right ingredients for profit lift

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) – Strong growth of sucralose
sweetener Splenda and other speciality food ingredients helped
boost Tate & Lyle’s full-year profit 23 percent, as the
British group gained from a move by consumers toward healthier
foods.

The London-based sweeteners and starches group reopened a
second plant in March to meet demand for its zero calorie
Splenda while high sugar prices benefited its competing bulk
sweeteners and it gained from growth in emerging markets.

May 28, 2012

Insight: European firms plan for Greek unrest and euro exit

LONDON (Reuters) – British electrical retailer Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece in case of riot.

The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.

May 28, 2012

European firms plan for Greek unrest and euro exit

LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – British electrical retailer
Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling
security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece
in case of riot.

The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look
alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.

May 28, 2012

Diageo taps into Brazil growth with cachaca buy

LONDON (Reuters) – British drinks group Diageo (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is buying a maker of Brazil’s most popular spirit, cachaca, for about 300 million pounds ($469 million), boosting its expansion in fast-growing emerging markets while it fights for a bigger prize in tequila.

The London-based maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, which is aiming to get half of its sales from emerging markets by 2015, said on Monday it had agreed to buy Brazil’s Ypioca from its family owners.

May 24, 2012

Africa and Latam thirst for beer drives SABMiller

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – Strong growth in Africa and Latin
America helped global brewer SABMiller offset a fall in
beer drinking in Europe and North America, as the Grolsch and
Peroni maker beat forecasts with a 12 percent rise in full-year
earnings.

The world’s second biggest brewer earns 70 percent of its
profit from fast-growing emerging markets, which helps insulate
it from tough mature markets where hard-pressed consumers are
economising at the bar and drinking less beer at home.

May 21, 2012

Buyout trio chase 2.5 bln euro Iglo Group -sources

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – A trio of private equity groups
remain in the hunt to buy Europe’s biggest frozen food company
Iglo Group in a 2.5 billion euro ($3.2 billion) plus
auction process, people familiar with the process said.

Blackstone, BC Partners and PAI are into
the second round of the sale by rival buyout firm Permira
while Bain and Clayton Dubilier & Rice did not make
the cut, the people added.

May 15, 2012

Diageo hopes to seal tequila deal soon

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – British drinks group Diageo
is weeks away from buying a minority stake in the owner
of the world’s no. 1 tequila brand, Jose Cuervo, a business
valued at $3 billion-plus, with talks focusing on whether the
Beckmann family will take shares or cash.

A deal which will allow Diageo to take majority control of
the business at a later date is the current favoured option as
the Beckmanns are not keen on selling out completely and are
eager to benefit from future growth, sources close to the talks
said.

May 10, 2012

Henkel seeks acquisitions as debt falls

LONDON (Reuters) – German consumer goods group Henkel (HNKG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), set to become debt free next year, is looking for acquisitions for both its consumer brands and industrial adhesive businesses four years after its last major purchase.

Chief executive Kasper Rorsted, who has turned Henkel around in his four-year tenure with his ambitious and results-driven management, is looking to boost growth with acquisitions and also raise investment in fast-growing emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

May 9, 2012

InterContinental Hotels looks for Olympics boost

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – InterContinental, the
world’s biggest hotelier, is looking for a further boost from
London’s Olympic Games this summer, it said on Wednesday, after
reporting a 5 percent rise in first-quarter profits thanks to
strong growth in China and the United States, its two biggest
markets.

The British-based group, home to the Crowne Plaza, Holiday
Inn and InterContinental brands, said with 79 days to the start
of the Olympics it hoped to gain from assisting in running the
15,000-strong athletes village and lodging the games’ visitors
its London hotels.

May 3, 2012

China’s Bright Food buys Weetabix

SHANGHAI/LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – China’s Bright Food will
take control of breakfast cereal maker Weetabix, beloved by
generations of British children, in the biggest foreign
acquisition by a Chinese food group.

State-owned Bright Food has agreed to buy a 60 percent stake
in a deal which puts a value of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.94
billion), including debt, on the private-equity owned company
that coined the slogan “Have you had your Weetabix today?”

    • About David

      "I write on and co-ordinate coverage of European consumer goods companies from London. These include food groups such as Nestle, Unilever and Danone, drinks companies like Diageo, Heineken and SABMiller, and cigarette groups British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco. I have previously worked in Milan covering Italian financial news and before that specialised on the car industry and the engineering sector, and also have some experience of commodity coverage."
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