FTC Tie Vote Permits Pillsbury Acquisition
the Federal Trade Commission will permit the proposed acquisition by General Mills, Minneapolis, of Pillsbury from its U.K.-based owner, Diageo. General Mills said it is pleased with the vote and looks forward to completing the acquisition of Pillsbury.
IGA Announces President's Cup Awards
CHICAGO -- IGA here said IGA Distribution-South Australia has been awarded the IGA President's Cup for wholesaler growth and Copps Corp., Stevens Point, Wis., received the President's Cup for outstanding overall performance. The Australian wholesaler expanded its store base from 33 to 254 stores last year and increased the amount of IGA private label in its warehouse from 65 items to 193, with a retail sales increase of 245% and an increase in store-level sales of 12% to 30%, IGA said. Copps, which subsequently became a division of Roundy's, Pewaukee, Wis., saw combined sales for its 22 corporate IGA stores and 38 independent customers rise 9.5% last year, with IGA-brand products carried in the warehouse increasing 24% to 1,002 products that resulted in a sales increase exceeding 18%, according to IGA.
Safeway Official Seeks to Sell Stock
WASHINGTON -- A longtime board member of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., has filed a pre-clearance request with the Securities and Exchange Commission here to sell his Safeway stock -- approximately 150,000 shares of common stock, reportedly valued at $6.4 million. Robert MacDonnell, a general partners of KKR Associates, has been a Safeway director since 1986.
Harry's Shareholders Approve Sale
ROSWELL, Ga. -- Harry's Farmers Market here said last week its shareholders have approved the sale of its three megastores and related support facilities to Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, as previously announced. The company said it expects the sale to be completed on or about Oct. 31. The company also announced its decision to close a Harry's In A Hurry store in Atlanta, and said it will continue to explore options on keeping the remaining store base profitable, which could include closing some additional stores.
Economic Indicators Decline
NEW YORK -- The Conference Board here said last week its composite index of leading economic indicators declined 0.5% in September, following a revised 0.1% drop in August. Commented Ken Goldstein, Conference Board economist, "The two-month decline in the index suggests that the already-weak economy is likely to remain weak into the next year. The overall reading from these numbers indicated that manufacturing and services are experiencing a significant slowdown. Economic demand has slowed sharply. This is likely to be reflected in the numbers on orders and housing permits over the next few months. The service economy is also weakening with little reason to expect any quick turnaround."