The Supply Side Briefs: Kellogg acquisition, General Mills plant closures

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 368 views 

• Kellogg to acquire Egyptian biscuit company
Kellogg announced it expects to acquire an 85.93% stake in Bisco Misr for an estimated $125 million which is based upon the number of shares tendered to the company through the Egyptian Stock Exchange as of the close of Kellogg's Mandatory Tender Offer Jan. 11.

The cereal maker became the only suitor for the biscuit company when private equity firm Abraaj said on Dec. 31 it would withdraw from a bidding war that drove up the offer price by over 20%.

Bisco Misr is a large packaged biscuits company in Egypt. Headquartered in Cairo, Bisco Misr is a publicly-held company listed on the Egyptian Exchange. With approximately 3,300 employees and three manufacturing facilities, Bisco Misr has a history in the Egyptian market dating back to 1957.

A recent flurry of mergers and rights issues has boosted activity on the Cairo exchange, which struggled to revive investor confidence in the turmoil that has followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Kris Charles, Kellogg spokeswoman, confirmed that while Kellogg was excited and delighted about the opportunity, it will not offer further details until the final transfer of the shares to Kellogg, expected to be on or around Jan. 18.

Food is seen as a fast-growing sector in the most populous Arab nation of 90 million people and Bisco is a well-known brand throughout Egypt.

Kellogg is a major supplier to Wal-Mart Stores and operates a sales offices in Bentonville.

• General Mills to close two more plants
General Mills’ restructuring efforts continue into 2015 as the company announces plans to close a plant in Midland, Ont., and one in New Albany, Ind. The news came in a Jan. 8 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The two closings combined will reduce the company’s workforce by 500.

Citing a need to reduce refrigerated dough capacity, General Mills said it will incur restructuring charges of approximately $109 million if both restructuring efforts are completed. The New Albany plant manufactures refrigerated goods and employs approximately 400. The company called its decision to close the New Albany plant, which has a unionized workforce that is represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, “tentative” and said it will enter into negotiations with the union. If the closing is completed, General Mills will incur charges of approximately $88 million.

The Midland plant manufactures frozen pizzas, refrigerated dough, cookies and other products for distribution in both the United States and Canada. The plant employs approximately 100 and charges from the closing are estimated to be $21 million.

The Midland and New Albany plants are part of a company-wide strategic review of General Mills’ manufacturing and distribution network that the company announced it was undertaking last June. Other manufacturing plants the company plans to close include a ready-to-eat cereal plant in Lodi, Calif., and a yogurt processing facility in Methuen, Mass.

General Mills is a major supplier to Wal-Mart Stores and operates a large sales office in Rogers.