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Jul 18, 2014

Nigerian drinks firm Chi weighing options – sources

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Nigerian drinks company Chi Ltd is exploring options including a potential sale that could value it at as much as $1 billion (585 million pounds), according to sources familiar with the matter.

A sale of Chi, part of the unlisted conglomerate TGI Group, would be the latest investment opportunity in Africa’s burgeoning food and drink sector for multi-nationals seeking to cash in on the continent’s emerging middle class.

Jul 15, 2014

Imperial Tobacco to buy US cigarette brands for $7.1 billion

LONDON (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group Plc (IMT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to buy the leading U.S. e-cigarette brand blu as part of its $7.1 billion acquisition of U.S. cigarette brands, being sold as part of Reynolds American Inc’s (RAI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) $27.4 billion purchase of Lorillard Inc (LO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Imperial’s purchase, meant to address potential antitrust objections to the marriage of the United States’ No. 2 and No. 3 tobacco firms, also includes Maverick, Salem as well as the international and U.S. rights to blu e-cigarettes, which control nearly half of the U.S. e-cigarette market.

Jul 4, 2014

In Africa, a Cube and a Parachute test consumer demand

LONDON/ACCRA, July 4 (Reuters) – Tucked in a corner of a
Guinness brewery in a run-down part of Ghana’s capital, flanked
by industrial silos and crates of bottles, stands the Cube, a
gleaming mini-factory that may point the way forward for global
consumer goods companies in Africa.

The tiny blending and bottling plant for Gilbey’s gin,
housed inside five connected shipping containers, gives Diageo
, the world’s largest spirits maker, a way to test demand
for new drinks while minimising capital deployment.

Jul 1, 2014

Food makers feel their way towards online future

PARIS, July 1 (Reuters) – Grocery manufacturers are
struggling to adapt to the online world and need to invest in
smarter packaging, presentation and supply chains to reap the
long term benefits.

E-commerce accounts for just 3.7 percent of sales for
fast-moving items like food, drinks and personal care products,
market researcher Kantar Worldpanel says, forecasting a rise to
5 percent by 2016 as supermarkets develop their web sites and
online only retailers like Amazon and Ocado
take them on.

Jun 19, 2014

Nestle CEO says size matters even as focus narrows

PARIS (Reuters) – Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is trimming its huge range of businesses and pushing deeper into niche medical products to improve returns, but the food and beverage giant still likes its heft.

The world’s largest consumer goods firm, with nearly $103 billion in sales, has benefited from its diversity, with products ranging from Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee to Kit Kat chocolate and Maggi soups.

Jun 18, 2014

Big Tobacco squares up as EU rules aim to track every cigarette

BAYREUTH Germany (Reuters) – It takes a British American Tobacco factory machine three minutes to load 4 million cigarettes onto a truck in northern Bavaria – but it can take a lot longer to figure out whether those cigarettes end up where they should.

So the EU is asking tobacco firms to do more to track and trace their goods, in order to tackle a huge black market and ultimately prevent some of the 700,000 deaths each year in the EU from smoking-related diseases.

Jun 10, 2014

Imperial Tobacco to float off Logista distribution unit

LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group
plans to list its European logistics division Logista on the
Spanish stock market, the British company said on Tuesday.

Logista is a leading distributor for Imperial’s
Franco-Spanish subsidiary Altadis and other tobacco companies in
southern Europe but also works for companies in the broader
consumer goods sector as well as telecom operators,
pharmaceutical companies and publishing houses in serving about
300,000 delivery points including petrol stations, hospitals and

Jun 8, 2014

Nestle wants bigger piece of high-end chocolate

ZURICH/LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) – Nestle’s chief
executive, who oversees a sprawling empire stretching from baby
food to wrinkle treatment, admits to finding one of its oldest
businesses, chocolate, a source of frustration.

Nestle is one of many consumer goods companies trying to tap
interest in high-end, natural, artisan, exclusive or organic
goods to augment packaged food sales that have been sluggish in
Europe and North America since the global recession.

Jun 5, 2014

Germany’s Henkel expands laundry brands with $1.3 billion French deal

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – Henkel & Co plans to buy French household cleaner maker Spotless, for 940 million euros ($1.28 billion) cash, its second purchase in a week as the German consumer goods company builds its presence in large, profitable, mature markets.

Henkel is buying Spotless from London-based private equity firm BC Partners, adding Eau Ecarlate and Dylon laundry products to a portfolio that already includes Persil detergent, Loctite adhesives and Schwarzkopf hair products.

Jun 4, 2014

Nestle’s scientific skew curbs its appetite for weak food brands

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Nestle has less
tolerance for underperforming food brands as its focus shifts to
more scientific businesses such as medical nutrition and skin
health that require deeper investments.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of the world’s largest packaged
food group, said on Wednesday its newer businesses, which
include injectable wrinkle treatments, were more complicated
than food and therefore required greater resources.