Drugmaker Aspen sells baby formula unit to French dairy group Lactalis for US$860m

SOUTH AFRICA - Aspen Pharmacare, the South African pharmaceuticals concern firm and Africa’s largest drug company has agreed to sell its infant formula business to French dairy group Lactalis International for US$864 million (12.9 billion Rand) as it seeks to cash on the division, reports Bloomberg. The acquisition will be funded by cash and according…

The State grain buyer seeks to raise US$75m to purchase maize from farmers

ZIMBABWE - Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), the government’s marketing agency plans to raise US$75 million for the purchase of maize from farmers in 2018 season, reports the Herald. The agro-bills which have a tenor of 360 days and interest rate of 7% per annum would be used for the purchases through the Grain Marketing Board…

Nestlé to sell skincare line, to focus on food and beverage businesses

USA – Nestlé, the Swiss transnational food and drink company, has made a review, through the Board of Directors, to sell its skincare line to sharpen its focus on food, beverage and professional health products. The company, according to the Board, fully confirmed the strategic direction by enhancing the Group's focus, as it expects to…

Milkbasket to expand engineering team five-fold and set new R&D Centre

ASIA - Milk and grocery delivery startup Milkbasket plans to expand its engineering team fivefold to 100 in the next nine months and set up a new research and development (R&D) centre, ET Retail reports. The development will enable the Gurgaon-based firm recommend users to products that they order frequently through machine learning. The R&D…

Quantum Foods expects annual profits to triple on steady earnings from eggs

SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa’s poultry, eggs and animal feeds producer Quantum Foods expects headline earnings for the year to end 30 September to increase by at least 219%, boosted by steady earnings from the eggs category, reports Moneyweb. Headline earnings per share would increase to 156.3 cents per share compared with 49 cents per…

Clover’s annual profit more than triples after a US$29m impairment in DFSA

SOUTH AFRICA - Clover Industries has reported that normalized annual profit more than tripled following the exit from the dairy business, Dairy Farmers of SA (DFSA) in which it recorded US$29 million impairment relating to a revolving credit loan given to the subsidiary. Normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose to 206.9 cents for the…

Cargill’s European poultry business expands into Poland with acquisition of Konspol

EUROPE – Cargill, an American privately held global corporation, has reached an agreement to acquire Konspol, one of Poland’s leading value-added food companies, providing an array of products in the chilled convenience, frozen and cold cut categories. According to the company, the acquisition marks the introduction of Cargill’s global protein business into the Polish market…

Bunge and Hakan places bids to supply 155,000tons of wheat worth US$49.5m

ETHIOPIA - Bunge SA and Hakan Agro DMCC have placed offers to supply the government of Ethiopia wheat worth US$49.50 million amidst shortages of the commodity in the market. The Herald reports the two were the only among 12 companies who bought bid documents after expressing interest in supplying the commodity meant for both government’s…

Rhodes Food issues profit warning on hard trading conditions

SOUTH AFRICA - The South African food producer Rhodes Food group (RFG) has said that it expects earnings for the financial year to fall as much as 41% as a result of difficult trading conditions characterized by low economic growth and the Western Cape drought. Business Day reports that the financial update triggered a decline…

Ant Financial secures right to become the largest shareholder in Zomato

ASIA - Zomato’s newest investor and an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group, Ant Financial has received the right to become the biggest shareholder in the restaurant search and discovery service, reports ET Retail. The agreement gives Ant Financial greater say in company operations compared to other stakeholders even as the Chinese firm seeks…