retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Associated Press reports that Pinnacle Foods, which owns such brands as Vlasic, Duncan Hines, and Birds Eye, is buying Wish-Bone salad dressings from Unilever for $580 million. According to the story, "Unilever PLC will continue to produce the brands for an undetermined period of time under a third-party manufacturing agreement."


• The Associated Press reports this morning that David Murdock, chairman/CEO of Dole Food, is taking the company private in a deal that values the company at $1.2 billion.

According to the story, "Dole has gone through a number of major changes recently. It sold its packaged foods and Asia fresh business for $1.69 billion in a deal that closed in April. That allowed Dole to become solely an international commodity produce company, with a narrower focus that also makes its earnings more volatile."

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


• The Associated Press reports that Campbell Soup is in "final negotiations to sell its European business to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum, the latest move by CEO Denise Morrison to reshape the company.

"The proposed sale includes the company's soups, sauces and other products that are sold under a variety of names in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden. The deal, which is not yet final, doesn't include products in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Middle East or Africa, or the export of its Pepperidge Farm baked goods."
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