Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drinks company, is a giant awakening. Since the start of the year, new chief executive Mark Schneider has reacted to forces reshaping the global consumer goods industry — and pressure from activist investors. Profit margin targets have been set, growth areas identified and a SFr20bn share buyback programme unveiled. On Wednesday, its infant nutrition business was broken into regional units, to get closer to customers. Expectations have mounted that Mr Schneider will revamp Nestlé’s portfolio with big acquisitions and disposals.
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By Ralph Atkins
Source: Financial Times
Nestle SA has accelerated its product development process by 60% since 2016, according to the company. The faster speed to market has been achieved through a restructuring of its research and development process. Now the company is investing in various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to further improve its R&D process and generate better results.
German chemicals distributor Brenntag has confirmed potential takeover talks with US rival Univar Solutions and is understood to be debating the feasibility of a potential acquisition in the coming months. Univar Solutions confirms that it has received a preliminary indication of interest from Brenntag regarding a potential transaction.
Cargill has announced the acquisition of Owensboro Grain Company, a soybean processing facility and refinery located in Kentucky. The purchase of the Owensboro-based company will support Cargill’s efforts to “modernise and increase capacity across its North American oilseeds network to support growing demand for oilseeds driven by food, feed and renewable fuel markets”.