Mars To Buy Significant Portion Of P&G’s Pet Food Business

Mars Inc. has agreed to buy the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands for $2.9 billion from Procter & Gamble (P&G).

According to Mars, this is a significant strategic move for Mars Petcare to complement its large and growing global pet care business. Upon completion of the transaction, the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands will join Mars Petcare’s billion-dollar stable mates — Pedigree, Whiskas, Banfield and Royal Canin.

Mars Petcare Global President Todd Lachman said: “We view the addition of the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands as exceptionally strategic. This acquisition is a perfect fit with our Mars Petcare vision of making ‘A Better World for Pets.’”

A.G. Lafley, P&G’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “Exiting pet care is an important step in our strategy to focus P&G’s portfolio on the core businesses where we can create the most value for consumers and shareowners. The transaction creates value for P&G shareowners, and we are confident that the business will thrive at Mars, a leading company in pet care.”

The geographic regions included in the acquisition, which account for approximately 80 percent of P&G Pet Care’s global sales, include North America, Latin America and other countries. The agreement includes an option for Mars to acquire the business in several additional countries. Markets not included in the transaction are primarily European Union countries; P&G said it is developing alternate plans to sell its pet care business in these markets.

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Study Reveals Significant Amount Of Illegal Seafood Entering U.S.

A new report to be published in Marine Policy estimates that 20 to 32 percent of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S. comes from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) or “pirate” fishing. Valued at $1 billion to $2 billion annually, this represents between 15 and 26 percent of the total value of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S.

Pirate fishers commonly ignore domestic and international fishing laws, regulations and policies by fishing in closed areas or during prohibited times, often catching threatened species, and using illegal gear.

The new study finds that the amount of illegally-caught seafood entering the U.S. market is in line with global estimates of pirate fishing, assessed at 13 to 31 percent of the global catch and valued between $10 billion and $23.5 billion each year.

Oceana ocean advocate Beckie Zisser issued the following statement on the study’s findings: “This study unfortunately confirms what we have long suspected — that seafood from pirate fishing is getting into our markets. Illegal fishing undercuts honest fishermen and seafood businesses that play by the rules, and the U.S. should not be incentivizing pirate fishers by creating a legal market for their products.

“The solution to this problem is requiring proof of legality and traceability as a condition to import into the U.S., ensuring that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. Before seafood crosses our borders and enters our markets, it needs to have documentation that verifies that it was legally caught, and that the fish traveled a transparent path from the fishing vessel to our dinner plates,” said Ms. Zisser.

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NRF Hoping Easter Holiday Will Spur Spring Spending

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American celebrating the Easter holiday will spend an average of $137.46 on apparel, food, candy, gifts and other items, slightly less than the $145.13 spent last year. Total spending is expected to reach $15.9 billion.

Though fewer Americans will celebrate this year (80.3 vs. 83 percent last year), families are still looking forward to their traditional Sunday meals. Those who do plan to celebrate will spend the most on a grocery bill for a family dinner or Sunday brunch out. According to the survey, 85.7 percent of those celebrating will spend an average of $43.18 on a holiday meal, totaling $5 billion.

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Latest Word in New Channels...

The developers of Tremont Crossing in Roxbury, Mass., have signed a letter of intent with BJ’s Wholesale Club to be an anchor tenant for the 1-million-square-foot development, which include space for retail, office, apartments, a hotel and cultural facilities.

• Target Stores has signed an agreement to open a store in 2015 as part of the Westwood, Mass. University Station development, which includes Wegmans.

• Following a recall by Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Giant Food of Landover, Md., announced it removed from sale select varieties of organic peppercorns due to potential Salmonella contamination.

• Tyson Foods recently announced that it voluntarily recalled 75, 320 kinds of frozen white meat chicken nuggets due to possible contamination. Tyson received reports of small pieces of plastic found in the nuggets. The items were sold in five pound bags at Sam's Club locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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