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Jan 21, 2014

Emerging markets rebound lifts Unilever results and shares

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A fourth-quarter recovery in
emerging markets sales boosted consumer goods maker Unilever
‘s 2013 results and sent its shares higher on
Tuesday morning as investors greeted the news with relief.

Unilever generates more than half of its sales in developing
and emerging markets. It was hit hard in the third quarter by
slower economic growth in countries such as Indonesia and the
devaluation of a handful of currencies including the Brazilian
real and the Indian rupee – all of which crimped consumer
demand.

Jan 14, 2014

Japan’s Suntory to buy U.S. spirits maker Beam for $13.6 billion cash

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Suntory Holdings Ltd SUNTH.UL on Monday said it would buy U.S. spirits company Beam Inc (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $13.6 billion cash in a deal that would make the Japanese company the world’s third-largest spirits maker.

Including the assumption of Beam’s net debt, the deal is valued at $16 billion. It brings together Beam’s Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Jan 13, 2014

Japan’s Suntory to buy U.S. drinks group Beam in $16 billion deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Suntory Holdings Ltd SUNTH.UL has agreed a $16 billion deal to buy Beam Inc (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), making the Japanese company the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks with a global footprint.

The company is paying $13.6 billion in cash for Beam shares as well as assuming its net debt, bringing together Beam’s Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Jan 8, 2014

Diageo joins with Diddy for a second drink, DeLeon tequila

LONDON (Reuters) – Diageo PLC (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and celebrity rapper turned business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs have jointly bought luxury U.S. tequila brand DeLeon, hoping to repeat the success they have had with the company’s fast-growing Ciroc vodka.

The American record producer, actor and entrepreneur became the face of Ciroc in 2007 under a joint marketing and profit-sharing deal which has brought a near 40-fold rise in annual sales volumes for the brand’s products.

Jan 6, 2014

Arla brings in more UK dairy farmers as deregulation looms

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Dairy cooperative Arla Foods
has nearly doubled the number of British farmers that
are owners in its business as the company works to raise sales
in international markets like Africa and China, where demand for
dairy products is growing.

European farmers are particularly keen to access those
markets, since the European dairy industry will see an end to
production quotas in 2015. The change is expected to flood the
market with new milk that could push down prices.

Dec 31, 2013

Quality over quantity as English bubbly builds reputation

LONDON (Reuters) – With revellers raising a glass of bubbly to the new year, England’s tiny sparkling wine industry is set for a lift in 2014 as established brands step up export plans and newcomers join the party.

Internationally, England may be known for its ale, cider and gin, but it is also home to 432 vineyards and 124 wineries, mostly along the southeast coast, which has similar geology and climate to France’s Champagne region across the Channel.

Dec 18, 2013

SABMiller’s veteran chairman dies of cancer

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Graham Mackay, the chairman of
brewer SABMiller and one of the best-known figures in
the global consumer goods industry, died on Wednesday from
cancer. He was 64.

Mackay spent 35 years at SABMiller, steering its
transformation from a South African industrial conglomerate to
the world’s second-largest beer maker with annual sales of $34.5
billion and 200 brands including Miller Lite, Peroni and Pilsner
Urquell.

Dec 13, 2013

Dalmore could pep up sale of whisky firm Whyte & Mackay

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – India’s United Spirits
could attract more buyers for its Whyte & Mackay Scotch whisky
business and tip the price over the expected 450 million pounds
($735 million) if it included the single malt Dalmore, sources
familiar with the matter say.

A sale of most of Whyte & Mackay was offered last month by
Diageo to appease UK regulators concerned its purchase
of a controlling stake in Whyte & Mackay’s owner, United
Spirits, would hurt competition in the world’s No. 3 Scotch
market behind France and the United States.

Dec 5, 2013

Unilever streamlines products, cuts jobs to confront world slowdown

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumer products giant Unilever Plc (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (UNc.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aims to cut the number of individual products it sells by 30 percent by the end of 2014 to become more efficient and navigate a global economic slowdown it admits it was slow to confront.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Lipton tea and Dove soap also said on Thursday it is cutting about 2,000 jobs and will continue to adjust its portfolio.

Dec 4, 2013

Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco seek Russia advantage with $1.5 bln deal

MOSCOW/LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Philip Morris International
Inc and Japan Tobacco Inc are buying 20 percent
stakes in their Russian distributor Megapolis for $750 million
each, strengthening their grip on the world’s No.2 cigarette
market by volume after China.

Russia, where 40 percent of the adult population smoke, is a
key battleground for foreign tobacco companies grappling with
dwindling sales in many developed markets where government
regulation is becoming stricter and smokers fewer.