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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: richardred who wrote (3830)2/3/2015 10:47:34 AM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
RE- COKE's aspirations

I think KO has been doing plenty of moves this past year to reposition itself and diversify more away from it's mainstays. IMO the catalyst move is being self pressured and from big shareholders to make diversifying acquisitions.
I still think salty snacks (hypothetically LNCE) would be a good choice for them. It would be a much less risky hypothetical acquisition than Monster Beverage or GMCR IMO. Coke could take their time with both of them as they already have double digit stakes in both. Coke previously, and more recently looks to be covering many bases, with fruit juices and milk. One area lacking is salty snacks. Lance trades at a lower PE currently. It's also is big in vending along with Coke. I've seen KO being mentioned previously, as a logical buyer for Mondelez International. IMO With Nelson Peltz having seats on both boards of Pepsi and Mondelez,this makes a KO hypothetical acquisition less likely. The question is LNCE's scale, around 2.5 billon, is that big enough scale for KO. If not, IMO LNCE still makes a nice bolt on. Past thoughts linked to this post.

Coke bets on 'premium milk' to boost declining category

Coke bets 'premium milk' Fairlife can boost declining category; more protein, less sugar
Associated Press
By Candice Choi, AP Food Industry Writer 26 minutes ago

Coke bets on 'premium milk' to boost declining category

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Fairlife milk products appear on display in the dairy section of an Indianapolis grocery store. Fairlife, which is rolling out nationally in coming weeks, is the product of a joint venture between Select Milk Producers, a dairy cooperative, and Coca-Cola. The product is filtered to have more protein and less sugar than regular milk. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coke is coming out with premium milk that has more protein and less sugar than regular. And it's betting people will pay twice as much for it.

The national rollout of Fairlife over the next several weeks marks Coca-Cola's entry into the milk case in the U.S. and is one way the world's biggest beverage maker is diversifying its offerings as Americans continue turning away from soft drinks.

It also comes as people increasingly seek out some type of functional boost from their foods and drinks, whether it's more fiber, antioxidants or protein. That has left the door open for Coke step into the milk category, where the differences between options remain relatively minimal and consumption has been declining for decades.

"It's basically the premiumization of milk," Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said at an analyst conference in November. If developed properly, Douglas said it is the type of product that "rains money."

Fairlife, which Coca-Cola formed in partnership with dairy cooperative Select Milk Producers in 2012, says its milk goes through a filtration process that's akin the way skim milk is made. Filters are used to separate the various components in milk. Then, more of the favorable components are added, while the less desirable ones are kept out.

The result is a drink that Fairlife says is lactose free and has 50 percent more protein, 30 percent more calcium and 50 percent less sugar than regular milk.

The same process is used make Fairlife's Core Power, a drink marketed to athletes that has even more protein and calcium than Fairlife milk.

Sue McCloskey, who developed the system used to make Fairlife with her husband Mike McCloskey, said Fairlife will be marketed more broadly to women who are the "gatekeepers" for their families' nutritional needs.
Related Quotes



Even while touting its nutritional advantages, however, Fairlife will need to be careful about communicating how its drink is made. Jonas Feliciano, senior beverage analyst for market researcher Euromonitor, noted people want drinks that "do something for me," but that Fairlife's juiced-up nutritional stats may make people hesitant about how natural it is.

"They have to explain that this is not an abomination of nature," Feliciano said.

Already, Fairlife has been subject to some teasing. After the drink was referenced in Coke's analyst presentation, comedian Stephen Colbert referred to it as "extra expensive science milk" and made fun of the elaborate way it's made.

"It's like they got Frankenstein to lactate," he said.

Colbert also took a dig at the wholesome image Fairlife is trying to project, noting that it's made by the "nature loving health nuts at Coca-Cola." That may explain why Coca-Cola is distancing itself from the product; a representative for the Atlanta-based company referred questions to Fairlife's outside representative.

In a phone interview, Fairlife CEO and former Coke executive Steve Jones said he thinks his company can help reverse the ongoing decline in milk consumption by offering a superior product. Major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger and Safeway have agreed to carry it and
KO has been diversifying away from its mainstays.

Coca-Cola's Minute Maid team plans to make it available wherever milk is sold.

The drink, which comes in a sleek plastic bottle reminiscent of milk cartons, has already started appearing on shelves and is expected to continue rolling out nationally over the next several weeks.

At a supermarket in Indianapolis, a 52-ounce bottle of Fairlife was being sold for $4.59. By comparison, the national average cost for a half-gallon of milk, which is 64 ounces, is $2.18, according to the USDA. For organic milk, the average is $3.99.

Fairlife is just one of many ventures by Coca-Cola, which also recently took stakes in energy drink maker Monster Beverages and Keurig Green Mountain, which makes single-serving coffee machines and pods.

Over time, Coca-Cola is hoping premium milk can become a significant driver of growth. For now, Fairlife is still trying to find its footing in the marketplace.

This summer, the company ran ads in the test markets of Minneapolis and Denver featuring women wearing nothing but milk splashes in the shape of dresses. The images were accompanied by phrases like, "Better Milk Looks Good On You," leading them to be deemed sexist in some corners.

Jones said the ads were intended to be "disruptive," since new products need to grab people's attention. But moving forward, Fairlife plans to focus on its authentic milk taste and the farmers who produce it in national marketing, which will roll out around the end of March or April.

While declining to provide details, Jones said Fairlife intends to "crank up the awareness level very, very quickly."

finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3876)2/3/2015 10:54:34 AM
From: The Ox
   of 7067
 
Good luck with that.....

And it's betting people will pay twice as much for it.

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To: The Ox who wrote (3877)2/3/2015 11:33:07 AM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
HI OX- Earnings for LNCE are out soon and the last couple of qtrs have been a little disappointing. Just might be another buying opportunity down the road for myself if that pattern continues. The stock has up quite well though. IMO Mainly do to being a target. I think LNCE hypothetically and realistically might receive around a 40%-50% premium from here 42.00 - 50. WHY- The snack food space that's still public is quite limited. IMO it's also likely to receive interest from other parties. This company won't get the type of sales premium 4X sales General Mills paid for Annie's.
It growing much slower as a whole, but LNCE has made a few niche acquisitions of it's own in the faster growing healthy snacks.

Message 29705709

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To: richardred who wrote (3878)2/3/2015 11:42:11 AM
From: The Ox
1 Recommendation   of 7067
 
Wheat and corn prices have been plunging and were in decline most of last year. One would think that these will be helpful to LNCE going forward, so your theory that they may be very attractive to a potential suitor makes a lot of sense. With relatively flat sales expectations, margins would be a great place for them to place a significant focus.




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To: The Ox who wrote (3879)2/3/2015 11:52:40 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 7067
 
I agree, and your right on the mark with food input costs. The majors should be catching some upside as commodity cost are coming down. Especially those who were on a LIFO accounting. This if they haven't already switched to FIFO. An added bonus for LNCE. If I remember right. They have very little foreign sales. This should be a plus. Especially against Global companies that have to deal with foreign currency. The current factor being a strong US dollar.

p.s. input costs
Message 28742522

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To: richardred who wrote (3876)2/4/2015 9:46:05 AM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
Snyder's-Lance, Inc. introduces a new corporate logo reinforcing its focus on premium branded snacks
PR Newswire
Snyder's-Lance, Inc. 43 minutes ago


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (LNCE) is introducing a new corporate logo symbolizing the completion of its strategic shift to become a branded snack food company. Snyder's-Lance is focused on serving consumers' busy lifestyles with quality, premium and differentiated snacks.

.
Snyder's-Lance, Inc. is introducing a new corporate logo symbolizing the completion of its strategic shift to become a branded snack food company.

"We are dedicated to serving the snacking expectations of our consumers and retailers. As a result, we are proud to say snacking is our passion," said Carl E. Lee, Jr., CEO and President. "Our company is going through a very exciting time as we compete in a dynamic and growing category. This corporate rebranding effort reflects not only the transformation of our company but it also reinforces the energy and commitment our associates have for making great snacks."

The new logo features a modernized font, visually striking icon and colors that reflect the company's commitment to quality and wholesome ingredients. The icon also symbolizes the journey from seed to table in every Snyder's-Lance product. The new tagline, "Snacking is our passion™," demonstrates Snyder's-Lance's commitment to our consumers and their snacking needs. Together, the new logo, icon and tagline offer a fresh perspective on the company's focus and commitment to meet evolving category trends with innovative new products.

This new corporate identity is part of an overall transformation of the company, which started with the acquisition of Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, and was followed by the divestiture of Lance Private Brands, the acquisition of Baptista's® Bakery and the acquisition of a majority stake in Late July®.

About Snyder's-Lance, Inc.
Snyder's-Lance, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., manufactures and markets snack foods throughout the United States and internationally. Snyder's-Lance's products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks. Snyder's-Lance has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio. Products are sold under the Snyder's of Hanover®, Lance®, Cape Cod®, Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, Late July®, Krunchers!®, Tom's®, Archway®, Jays®, Stella D'oro®, Eatsmart™, O-Ke-Doke® and other brand names. Products are distributed nationally through grocery and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets and other channels. LNCE-G

Logo - photos.prnewswire.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/snyders-lance-inc-introduces-a-new-corporate-logo-reinforcing-its-focus-on-premium-branded-snacks-300030564.html

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To: richardred who wrote (3683)2/5/2015 8:45:54 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 7067
 
Pfizer to Buy Hospira for $15 Billion as Drug Maker Looks to Expand Revenues

dealbook.nytimes.com

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From: Glenn Petersen2/5/2015 2:42:35 PM
   of 7067
 
Summer Redstone's health may be failing: hollywoodreporter.com

His passing could put both Viacom and CBS into play.

Moonves looks to buy CBS ahead of potential Viacom merger

By Claire Atkinson
New York Post
February 4, 2015 | 11:22pm

CBS boss Les Moonves, fearful a merger with Viacom will be forced upon his company after majority owner Sumner Redstone dies, is discussing ways to buy out the broadcaster’s controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc., sources told The Post

Moonves, the 65-year-old CEO of the Tiffany network, believes a merger with Viacom will leave him in an inferior position vis-à-vis Philippe Dauman, the Viacom CEO, and could shortchange CBS minority shareholders, sources said.

As a result, Moonves has been having discussions with Wall Street heavy hitters about backing such a buyout, sources said.

“[Moonves] has been talking to a few banks and private equity firms about buying CBS,” said a well-placed source.

It is unclear how far such discussions have progressed. The buyout plan is one of a number of options Moonves has, sources close to the conversations stressed.

One obstacle Moonves faces is that any NAI buyout would need the approval of the majority of the members on a trust that will take control of NAI down the road after Redstone dies.

Dauman is on the trust’s board, sources said.

Redstone, 91, owns 80 percent of NAI, which controls both Viacom and CBS.

Fans of Moonves are quick to point out that he has done a better job of building CBS than Dauman has done of expanding Viacom.

CBS shares have climbed 136 percent since it was split from Viacom in January 2006.

Viacom is up 61 percent over that same period.

The Moonves plan comes as talk of a media mega-merger with Viacom has ratcheted up in recent weeks. Redstone’s health continues to falter, sources say.

Viacom has seen big ratings declines as Nielsen has failed to find a way to measure young viewers’ habits.

Plus, Moonves would bristle at working for Dauman, many have said.

“There’s no way Philippe Dauman and Leslie Moonves are going to work in the same shop. They have totally different personalities and skill sets and mindsets. Unless it’s forced on him, Les wouldn’t want to work for Philippe or vice versa,” said GAMCO’s Mario Gabelli, who holds sizable stakes in both firms.

Dauman could gain added leverage over distributors were Viacom to house a broadcast network.

To be sure, a merger of the two would face significant hurdles.

A second shareholder, referring to how Moonves has nourished CBS better than Viacom brass have done with that company, insisted that “if someone wants to come and make a bid at a premium, we’d be open” to it.

However, “a merger of equals, that would dilute us.”

Indeed, several shareholders have been examining their rights as minority owners should a merger of Viacom and CBS be forced on them.

“You’d hope fairness and common sense prevail,” added Gabelli, who has held stock in Viacom for some three decades.

“I’m sure Les would like to do a lot of things that would take him out of Sumner’s orbit,” said one longtime media veteran. “But Viacom-CBS is one of the best industrial combinations you could come up with. The synergies are compelling.”

nypost.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3561)2/6/2015 9:58:09 AM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
Harris buying defense contractor Exelis in $4.4 deal Communications and info tech company Harris buying defense contractor Exelis for about $4.4B

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- Communications and information technology company Harris is buying Exelis in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $4.4 billion.

The new company will have approximately 23,000 workers worldwide, including 9,000 engineers and scientists.

Exelis, the former defense unit of manufacturer ITT Corp., makes night-vision goggles, anti-bomb products and does technical work for the government.

Harris Chairman, President and CEO William Brown said in a statement on Friday that the companies have complementary businesses, with the acquisition making it stronger to compete against rivals and providing greater scale.

Harris Corp. is based in Melbourne, Florida, while Exelis Inc. is based in McLean, Virginia. There are plans to consolidate the companies' headquarters and for senior members of both Harris and Exelis to be part of the combined company's management.

Exelis shareholders will receive $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 of a share of Harris common stock for each Exelis share they own. That would put the deal value at $23.75 per Exelis share. The companies put the enterprise value of the deal at $4.75 billion. That figure includes assumed debt.

Harris stockholders will own about 85 percent of the combined company, with Exelis shareholders owning the remaining 15 percent.

The boards of both companies approved the deal unanimously. The buyout still needs approval from Exelis shareholders and is targeted to close in June.

Exelis shares rose $6.14, or 34.7 percent, to $23.85 in premarket trading about an hour ahead of the market open. Harris shares rose $4.70, or 6.8 percent, to $74.19.

finance.yahoo.com

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From: Glenn Petersen2/12/2015 9:01:27 AM
   of 7067
 
BREAKING: Expedia Buying Orbitz for $1.6 Billion

Dennis Schaal, Skift
@denschaal
Feb 12, 2015 8:25 am

It’s just Priceline Vs. Expedia now in the U.S., at least for now. — Dennis Schaal

It is a two-horse race now in the online travel booking world: Expedia is buying Orbitz for about $1.6 billion in cash. This comes after Expedia announced that it was buying Travelocity last month for a paltry $280 million.

Shares in Expedia rose nearly 10% in pre-market trading, while Orbitz rose over 21%.

Details of the $1.6 billion deal:
  • Expedia will acquire all of Orbitz’s brands, including consumer brands Orbitz, ebookers, HotelClub, and CheapTickets.
  • It will offer $12.00 per share in cash, a premium of about 29% over the average share price for the five trading days up to and including February 11, 2015.
  • The deal is still pending shareholder approval and approval by regulatory authorities.
“We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team. This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travelers all over the world,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc.

“From the flagship Orbitz.com brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family.”

“Our mission at Orbitz Worldwide has been to build our brands to be the world’s most rewarding places to plan and purchase travel,” said Barney Harford, Chief Executive Officer, Orbitz Worldwide. “We’re excited for Orbitz Worldwide to join the Expedia, Inc. family and for our teams to work together to further enhance the offerings we provide to our customers and partners.”

An official at a competitor to Orbitz told Skift in early January that it was an open secret that Orbitz has been engaged in a process to be acquired for some time, although the activity now appears to have entered a more formal stage. Market conditions might made this a relatively attractive time to sell. Travelocity’s 2013 decision to outsource its operations to Expedia Inc., and then Expedia’s purchase of it last month gave it even more clout with hoteliers, and put increasing pressure on Orbitz to find an exit.

Expedia was not the only bidder for Orbitz, but the rivals have not yet been determined.

skift.com

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