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Feb 13, 2014

Imperial Tobacco considers market listing for logistics unit

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group is
considering listing shares in its European logistics division on
the stock market, as it focuses on its core cigarettes business
that is declining in many markets.

Imperial, the world’s fourth-largest international tobacco
company by market share, said on Thursday it was reviewing
options related to a potential initial public offering (IPO).

Feb 13, 2014

Nestle hints at more deals after deeper healthcare dive

LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss food giant Nestle’s deeper dive into healthcare by taking over the dermatology joint venture it had with L’Oreal suggests further deals in the space are likely.

The move underscores Nestle’s determination to move beyond relatively stagnant traditional food markets into “wellness”, where growth prospects and profit margins are more enticing.

Feb 13, 2014

Tate & Lyle warns on profit as sweetener price tumbles

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – British food ingredients firm
Tate & Lyle cut its profit outlook on Thursday, citing
a dramatic drop in prices of its sucralose artificial sweetener
and weak sales volumes in developed markets.

Shares of Tate & Lyle, which sells sucralose under the
Splenda brand and other ingredients to packaged food and drink
makers, tumbled 17 percent in their biggest intraday drop since

Feb 12, 2014

Whyte & Mackay sale could kick off next week: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – India’s United Spirits (UNSP.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has hired banks to help in the sale of its Whyte & Mackay Scotch whisky business, which could fetch 450 million pounds ($741.8 million) and is expected to kick off next week, sources told Reuters.

Rothschild ROT.UL, Rabobank RABN.UL and Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have been picked to advise on the sale, which was offered in November to appease UK regulators by Diageo (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) following the latter’s purchase of a controlling stake in United Spirits.

Feb 12, 2014

Reckitt Benckiser sees more sales growth, names chairman for pharma unit

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Consumer goods group Reckitt
Benckiser reported a rise in sales and forecast further
growth this year, despite challenges in emerging markets, and
named a new chairman for its declining pharmaceuticals business
to help with a strategic review.

The company did not say what option it was leaning towards
for the business, which centres on the opiod-dependence drug
Suboxone, but some analysts took the appointment of drugs
industry veteran Howard Pien chairman as a sign it might be
preparing for a sale.

Jan 31, 2014

For companies, a rocky road ahead in emerging markets

CHICAGO/LONDON (Reuters) – International companies are taking steps to mitigate the effects of the turmoil in emerging markets, including hedging foreign currency exposure more aggressively, reducing some investment plans, cutting costs, and raising prices frequently.

While executives are not hitting the panic button just yet, and many say the risks they face are hardly unique, they are still aggressively tackling costs and making sure that revenue keeps up with inflationary pressures. And many warn that if China suffers a credit crisis as some fear, then things could get a whole lot worse.

Jan 30, 2014

Diageo’s sales growth slows on emerging markets weakness

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Diageo, the world’s
biggest distilled drinks company reported a slowdown in sales
growth in the last six months after demand in China and some
other important emerging markets dropped sharply.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and
Guinness beer, which generates about 42 percent of its sales
from emerging markets, reported a 1.8 percent rise in sales for
the first half of its fiscal year ending in June, following a
rise of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, with analysts
estimating growth in the second quarter slowing to 1.6 percent.

Jan 27, 2014

Premier Foods hands control of Hovis to U.S. Gores Group

PARIS (Reuters) – Britain’s Premier Foods (PFD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will hand control of Hovis bread to U.S. investment firm The Gores Group, in a deal which values the struggling unit at 87.5 million pounds ($144.40 million).

The deal puts an end to months of speculation about the direction of the ailing business, which has suffered from intense competition from branded and private label players, and should inject new capital to allow Premier Foods to focus on its other grocery brands, such as Mr. Kipling cakes.

Jan 24, 2014

Mexico draws over $7 billion in foreign investment at Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Pepsico, Nestle and Cisco on Friday announced major investments that together totaled more than $7 billion in Mexico, where the government has pushed through a series of economic reforms that aim to boost foreign investment and growth.

Mexico has embraced free trade policies in recent decades, and has drawn growing investment interest after President Enrique Pena Nieto made a landmark reform drive in his first year in office, pushing major telecommunications, energy, banking and tax legislation through a divided Congress.

Jan 21, 2014

Unilever sticks with emerging markets as sales rebound

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever said it would stick to its emerging markets growth strategy as a fourth-quarter recovery in sales in the region boosted the consumer goods maker’s 2013 results and reassured investors who had been worried about consumer demand there.

Unilever generates more than half of its sales in emerging and developing markets, so was hurt by economic weakness last year in countries such as Indonesia and the devaluation of currencies including the Brazilian real and Indian rupee.