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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: richardred who wrote (5602)12/18/2019 12:30:23 PM
From: richardred
   of 6084
 
Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Agree on Terms to Forge New Auto Giant


The formal accord, after a preliminary deal in October, still requires months of work to integrate the automakers.

Dec. 18, 2019
Updated 12:17 p.m. ET

Fiat Chrysler and PSA of France said Wednesday that they had agreed to the terms of a merger that would create the world’s fourth largest automaker.

The companies said they had signed a binding agreement formalizing the merger, announced in October.

The accord brings Fiat Chrysler and PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars, much closer to creating a carmaker bigger than General Motors. But there will remain the task of integrating the companies. The companies said Wednesday that it would take another year to 15 months to close the deal.

PSA has shown no sign of second thoughts about the merger even after Fiat Chrysler became the target last month of a racketeering lawsuit by G.M. The complaint asserts that Fiat Chrysler bribed United Auto Workers officials in contract negotiations to get an advantage over G.M. Fiat has called the suit “meritless.”

Carlos Tavares, the head of PSA, said Wednesday that he fully supported Fiat Chrysler in its denial of the accusations. “We have obviously done our due diligence,” he told reporters during a conference call.
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The accord confirmed that Mr. Tavares would be the chief executive of the new company, and that John Elkann, the chairman of Fiat Chrysler, would be the chairman. Mr. Elkann is a scion of Italy’s powerful Agnelli family, which has long controlled Fiat.

By combining, Fiat Chrysler and PSA will surpass Volkswagen as the market leader in Europe. Between them they will have more than 400,000 employees and sales worldwide of 8.7 million vehicles.

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In addition to Fiat, Peugeot and Citroën, their car brands will include Alfa Romeo, Dodge muscle cars, Ram trucks, Jeep sport utility vehicles, Opel and Vauxhall cars, and Maserati luxury cars. The combined company is particularly strong in S.U.V.s, the fastest growing segment in Europe. But it is weak in luxury cars, a market dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

For now, there are no plans to sell Peugeot and Citroën brand cars in the United States, the companies said.

Perhaps the most important rationale for merger is that it will allow the companies to share the cost of developing electric cars and autonomous-driving technology, which world automakers expect to be crucial in the coming decades. Electric cars are needed to meet stricter emissions regulations in Europe to avoid steep fines.
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“Our merger is a huge opportunity to take a stronger position in the auto industry as we seek to master the transition to a world of clean, safe and sustainable mobility,” Mr. Tavares said in a statement.

But analysts regard the two carmakers, which are still trying to come up with a name for the new entity, as an imperfect match. They share some weaknesses, including a dependence on the declining European market and the lack of a strong presence in China, the world’s largest car market by far. The new company will get almost 90 percent of its sales from Europe and the United States.

The merger has the blessing of the French government, which owns 12 percent of PSA. The agreement “is very good news for France, for Europe and for our automotive industry,” Bruno Le Maire, the French minister of the economy and finance, said in a statement Wednesday. “It represents an important step in the creation of a European champion.”

The government earlier this year derailed an attempt by Fiat Chrysler to merge with Renault. PSA and Fiat have said they will not close any factories, pleasing political leaders, but analysts are skeptical that they can keep that promise when sales are under pressure around the world.

Company officials reiterated on Wednesday that they would not close any factories and said they would not cut factory jobs either. They did not explicitly rule out job cuts in other areas.

The companies aim to save billions of euros a year by combining functions like purchasing, marketing and information technology. Those savings will be hard to achieve without reducing the number of office workers.

The largest shareholders of the two companies have agreed to back the merger, Fiat and PSA said, virtually assuring its approval. Those include the Peugeot family; Exor, the holding company for Agnelli family interests; and Dongfeng Motor, the Chinese automaker that owns 12 percent of PSA.

As part of the accord, Dongfeng, which has a joint venture to sell Peugeots and Citroëns in China, will reduce its share in PSA so that it ends up with 4.5 percent of the new entity. The French cars have not sold well in China, and Dongfeng appears to be scaling back its relationship with PSA.

One reason may be that Fiat and PSA do not want to antagonize United States officials wary of Chinese influence. Mr. Tavares said the new company would continue to work with Dongfeng and try to turn around the business in China.

In the short term, a small presence in China may be a blessing in disguise. Car sales have plummeted in the last year because of the trade war with the United States. In the longer run, though, China is seen as essential for any company with global ambitions. Rates of car ownership are still low compared with most developed countries, making China one of the few large markets where there is potential for significant growth.

The deal must clear numerous regulatory hurdles, including approval by antitrust authorities and bank supervisors. Both companies have large car-financing arms and, as is typical in the industry, are de facto banks as well as automakers. Mr. Tavares said he did not think that the merger would face any serious problems getting official approval.

nytimes.com

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From: richardred12/18/2019 12:49:14 PM
   of 6084
 
Added to MDWD today. IMO the NexoBrid™ product is worth more than the current market valuation and you get the rest of the pipeline for free.









To: richardred who wrote (4291)5/10/2018 12:58:22 PM
From: richardred of 5730
Sold out MDWD - PBH & CECE - proceeds Added to IEC and MLR today. Liked the earnings and recent sales increases of both.

MDWD - Took profits even though they disclosed their was an interest in someone acquiring the company.

P.S. I know all to well how painful a burn is and why I like this Pharma specialty space. . A little scar reminder. Unknowing also used Bio-Glue to seal a deep wound I received earlier this year. This in a company I owned previously.


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To: richardred who wrote (5718)12/18/2019 1:37:53 PM
From: richardred
   of 6084
 
Added to VCEL today on the decline.

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To: E_K_S who wrote (5251)12/19/2019 10:19:31 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 6084
 
I added some shares of BGS today. Dividend looks more solid now and a better chance of market appreciation IMO. GIS yesterday, CAG today. The food group must be climbing up the timely notch from where it was. A bunch of doubting Thomas's short make a chance for an upside surprise next Qtr IMO. Integration costs from acquisitions should be done or winding down. A hypothetical accretive acquisition using stock leverage leverage could also help.

Conagra Brands beats profit estimates on strong snack, frozen food demand



Contributor
Praveen Paramasivam Reuters



Published
Dec 19, 2019 8:03AM EST

Credit: REUTERS/FRED GREAVES
Conagra Brands Inc topped Wall Street quarterly sales and profit estimates on Thursday, helped by strong demand for the Slim Jim maker's snacks and frozen foods, sending its shares up about 8%.







Adds segment details, profit comparison, background

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Conagra Brands Inc CAG.N topped Wall Street quarterly sales and profit estimates on Thursday, helped by strong demand for the Slim Jim maker's snacks and frozen foods, sending its shares up about 8%.

The company has been investing to revive brands it had bought as part of its Pinnacle Foods acquisition, including Birds Eye and Duncan Hines.

Conagra has also been pouring money into brands it had owned prior to the $8 billion Pinnacle purchase, launching a spate of products including professional wrestler Randy Savage-themed Slim Jim meat stick, to fend-off competition from private labels.





The Chicago, Illinois-based company also raised its forecast for annual cost synergies from its Pinnacle acquisition to $305 million by the end of fiscal 2022 from $285 million, and said it planned to invest savings to help drive sales.

Sales in its grocery and snacks segment grew 14.2% in the second quarter, while its refrigerated and frozen food segment grew 28.8%.

Excluding items, Conagra earned 63 cents per share, beating the average analysts' estimate of 57 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to the company nearly doubled to $260.5 million, or 53 cents per share, in quarter ended Nov. 24, from a year earlier.





Net sales rose 18% to $2.82 billion, largely due to Conagra's acquisition of Pinnacle last year, beating the average analysts' estimate of $2.80 billion.

nasdaq.com

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To: richardred who wrote (5733)12/19/2019 11:29:38 AM
From: robert b furman
   of 6084
 
Hi richardred,

I went shopping for some Tostidos yesterday.

The big bag (14.5 ounces)was $4.25 up from $3.99 for a long time.

Menards sold the bag at 2.99 as a price leader for years.

Now it is $3.00 for a 10 ounce bag.

Pricing is trying to go up in the snack biz.

Sidenote, I have not seen the "Hint of Lime" Tostidos for a while - I wonder if they were discontinued and replaced by Grain and Jalapeno? The lime is really good with my homeade salsa.

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To: robert b furman who wrote (5734)12/19/2019 11:46:47 AM
From: richardred
   of 6084
 
Hi Bob: a tip if you don't already do it? I do this. Put a nice helping of Salsa sauce in your Taco shell along with the other ingredients. I love toco sauce with my tacos. We ran out one day, but we had salsa. I substituted and do it a lot since then. We do a lot of taco's around this house. Pepsi owns the snacking isle(Tostidos).

P.S. Suggest you use BGS Ortega taco shells. <G> I personally like the hard shells.


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To: richardred who wrote (5735)12/19/2019 11:51:59 AM
From: robert b furman
   of 6084
 
Hi richardred,

Having lived in Houston since 1981, I'm an official Mexican food junky.

I judge my Mexican restaurants by the salsa taste and chips they serve.

Papsitos is number one with Cyclone Anaya's being number two.

We eat a lot of flour tortillas. I even have my own press.

Having been in Wisconsin this summer - I now have cravings for good Tex Mex food.

Bob

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To: robert b furman who wrote (5736)12/19/2019 12:03:28 PM
From: richardred
   of 6084
 
There's nothing like homemade Bob. Whenever I try and diet. <sigh> Salsa and chips to dip into are my favorite snack. Get ready for the diet commercials. January's coming.

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To: E_K_S who wrote (5725)12/19/2019 12:06:29 PM
From: E_K_S
1 Recommendation   of 6084
 
ACST +9% new recovery high last $2.60/share. Not really a merger/buy out (maybe in the future) but Phase III results for their krill oil based drug (similar to Vascepa discovered/approved for AMRN) s/d be out this week.

Company said end of year and getting close to end of the year. Have shares at $0.86/share and more last week at $1.85/share. Could be a very Merry Christmas at the EKS household.

Good investing

EKS

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From: richardred12/19/2019 12:10:59 PM
   of 6084
 
New buy today COWN-COWEN INC from the Value Board . Put on my radar by IntoOLEDs.

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