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Chipotle may hike prices due to tariffs; Altria to buy 80% of Burger Söhne

TOP NEWS

* Quick-service chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. could raise prices on its burritos, tacos, bowls and other menu items to offset an expected $15 million in additional costs in 2019 from the Trump administration's newly announced tariffs on imports from Mexico, according to CFO Jack Hartung. The U.S. plans to apply 5% duties on all imports from Mexico starting June 10 and will gradually increase tariffs to 25% by October over President Donald Trump's concerns of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. That would erode the company's margins by 20 to 30 basis points, Hartung said in a statement provided to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Altria Group Inc. said it will pay $372 million for an 80% stake in Swiss tobacco company Burger Söhne Holding AG to gain access to its On! oral nicotine pouches. The Burger Group's On! pouches are offered in seven flavors and five nicotine strengths. The tobacco giant expects the deal, which it will fund with cash on hand, to close in the second half of 2019.

FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION

* Amazon.com Inc. said its Prime Free One Day delivery service will now be available without a minimum purchase amount. The e-commerce giant said Prime paid subscription members may now purchase over 10 million items without a minimum required amount for delivery the next day.

* Carrefour SA will add 100 more items to its blockchain traceability system in 2019 as the technology helped increase the retailer's sales, Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour's blockchain project manager, told Reuters at a conference. The French retailer has used the blockchain ledger technology for tracking 20 food products across its supply chain, the report said. Carrefour reportedly plans to add nonfood products, like clothing, to its blockchain system in the future.

* Same-day delivery startup Deliv has appointed industry veteran James McCann to its board. McCann has served in various roles in retail and grocery market segments, including CEO of Carrefour's French business.

* British food retailer Waitrose Ltd. launched an 11-week trial of a program aimed at reducing unnecessary packaging by removing plastic wrap from products such as fruits, vegetables and flowers. Customers also will be able to fill up their own containers with products, including detergent, wine, beer, pasta, cereals and ground coffee, as part of the trial until Aug. 18 at its store in Oxford.

BEVERAGES

* Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. said it will sell its fruit and vegetable processing business SPC Ardmona Ltd. to Shepparton Partners Collective for a total consideration of A$40 million. SPC's products include canned fruits, purees, fruit snacks and cooking condiments, among others. The Australian Coca-Cola Co. bottler decided to put the business up for sale in November 2018 following a strategic review of the unit.

* Organic beverages producer New Age Beverages Corp. signed a definitive agreement to acquire food and beverage company Brands Within Reach LLC for an undisclosed amount. Brands Within Reach owns licensing and distribution rights in the U.S. for Nestea, Volvic, Illy Ready to Drink Coffee and Evian brands, among other labels, and New Age will secure these rights as part of the deal.

* New York-based private equity firm Riverside Partners LLC acquired Italian company La Galvanina SpA for an undisclosed sum. Family-owned Galvanina produces private-label and branded mineral water and traditional and organic soft drinks.

* Coca-Cola HBC AG set new financial and operational targets for 2025 during an investor event held in London. The Coca-Cola Co. bottler expects an annual revenue growth rate over the next six years in the range of 5% to 6%, while it expects comparable EBIT margin of 11% by 2020.

* Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. launched a corporate responsibility platform to meet its sustainability goals across four areas — environment, supply chain, health and wellbeing, and communities. The platform, called Drink Well. Do Good., includes the company's commitments to convert to 100% recyclable or compostable packaging and obtain 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

PACKAGED FOODS

* U.K.-based Associated British Foods PLC said it will form a 50/50 joint venture in Shanghai with Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International Ltd. to manufacture, sell and distribute yeast and bakery ingredients. The joint venture will acquire the bakery ingredients business of AB Foods subsidiary AB Mauri and will use the supply chain and distribution network of Wilmar unit Yihai Kerry Arawana.

* Tyson Foods Inc. said it completed the acquisition of BRF SA's Thai and European operations. The food company agreed to acquire the Brazilian company's chicken processing facilities in February for $340 million.

* Nestlé SA, through its brand Sweet Earth, is launching a plant-based offering called Awesome Burger across the U.S. starting this fall, CNBC reported. The vegan meat substitute, primarily made with yellow pea protein, will be available at grocery stores, restaurants and universities. The news follows Nestlé's launch of plant-based burgers in Europe in April.

* Nestle SA's Poland Spring bottled water brand aims to reach 100% recycled plastic across its still water portfolio by 2022. The brand will initiate the transition with its 1-liter bottles, starting June. The development forms part of the Swiss food giant's sustainability commitment to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

* Kellogg Co. unveiled a sustainability program, called Kellogg's Better Days, to address global food security. Under the program, the company will "help end hunger" for 3 billion people by the end of 2030. To achieve that, Kellogg will aid 375 million people through food donations and expanded child feeding programs, and support 1 million farmers, especially women smallholders and workers, among other steps.

RESTAURANTS

* Dine Brands Global Inc., operator of IHOP and Applebee's restaurants, appointed Jay Johns as president of IHOP, effective June 13. Johns, who has served as IHOP's senior vice president, replaces Darren Rebelez.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Brazil temporarily halted beef exports to China after a case of mad cow disease was reported in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, Bloomberg News reported. Meat cargoes shipped after May 30 will reportedly be returned to producers or redirected to other destinations. According to a statement by the Brazilian agriculture ministry, the infected animal did not enter the food-supply chain, and the risk status of the disease remains "insignificant," the report added.

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The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.49% at 26,761.52, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.01% to 20,408.54.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lifted 0.12% to 7,193.65, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.09% to 1,027.18.

On the macro front

The motor vehicle sales report, the Redbook Index for retail sales and the factory orders report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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