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FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 13/10/23
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

13 October 2023

FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 13/10/23


FoodBev Media’s Melissa Bradshaw rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including: The Nolet Group offers €269.5m for Lucas Bols The Nolet Group has reached a conditional agreement with fellow Dutch spirits company Lucas Bols on its offer to purchase Bols for €269.5 million – approximately $284 million. The public offer, backed by the Lucas Bols management board, aims to create a Dutch champion in the global spirits and cocktails market. The Nolet Group, manufacturer of the Nolet’s gin and Ketel One vodka brands, has agreed to offer €18 in cash per share for Lucas Bols. The Lucas Bols Company is headquartered in Amsterdam and is active in over 110 countries worldwide. Under the proposed merger, it will retain its identity, name and brands, which include Tequila Partida and the Passoã passionfruit liqueur. Hostess received $33 per share cash offer before JM Smucker Deal Hostess Brands received an all-cash $33 per share offer from an unidentified US food company, prior to accepting its deal with The JM Smucker Company. As FoodBev reported last month, JM Smucker signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hostess, the owner of the Twinkies snack brand, for approximately $5.6 billion. This week, a filing has been disclosed in which details of the offer’s background have shown an unidentified packaged food company – referred to as ‘Party A’ in the filing – made a bid of $33 per share in cash, in mid-August. The filing reveals that the CEO of the unidentified bidder made a phone call to Hostess Brands’ president and CEO, Andrew Callahan, on 16 May, expressing interest in commencing discussions with respect to a potential acquisition. The original expression of interest saw Party A’s CEO propose a transaction in the range of $31 to $33 per share. On 14 August, the bidder then provided a revised indication of interest, including a proposal of $33 per share. The filing also revealed that on 10 September, just before the deal with JM Smucker was announced, Party A was considering a further revised offer of $34 per share. Bunge shareholders approve Viterra acquisition Global agriculture company Bunge has announced that its shareholders have approved its acquisition of Viterra, expected to close in mid-2024. The plans were revealed earlier this year, with the two grain specialists initiating talks on the potential merger as reported by FoodBev at the end of May. The $8.2 billion agreement was confirmed in June, aiming to create a global agribusiness company to meet the demands of “increasingly complex markets”. Bunge’s shareholders approved the acquisition of Glencore-backed Viterra last week. They also voted in support of moving Bunge’s incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland. The merger is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including receipt of regulatory approvals. Agronomics announces BlueNalu Series B, extends strategic partnerships US-based cellular agriculture company BlueNalu has raised $33.5 million from new and existing investors in a series B financing round, according to Agronomics. Agronomics says the financing will enable BlueNalu – whose mission is to become the global leader in cell-based seafood – in its next stage of growth and will help it progress towards scaling and commercialising its sustainable seafood around the world. Following regulatory approval, BlueNalu plans to launch its first commercial product, premium bluefin tuna toro. The toro portion of bluefin tuna is sought after in Asia where over 80% of the estimated global supply is consumed. BlueNalu says that currently, bluefin tuna is available in very limited supply, can be “extremely variable” in its quality and sensory attributes, and has faced steep declines in fish stocks due to issues such as overfishing and illegal, unregulated fishing. In addition to the capital raise, the company this month announced plans to extend and enhance its strategic partnerships with three multinational seafood industry leaders headquartered in the APAC region. The expanded collaborations include MOUs with Mitsubishi in Japan, Pulmuone in South Korea and Thai Union in Thailand, each with a strong presence in the global seafood sector. The renewed collaborations represent a shared interest in the commercialisation of cell-based seafood in Asia. They are set to support BlueNalu's planned introduction of cell-based seafood in a number of APAC nations over the coming years, through fostering market insights, understanding regulatory requirements and developing go-to-market strategies.

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