* Netherlands-based food delivery service Takeaway.com NV and British rival Just Eat PLC reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended deal, which would create one of the world's largest online food delivery platforms. The merger would see Takeaway.com acquire Just Eat at 731 pence a share based on the Dutch company's closing share price of €83.55 on July 26. Just Eat shareholders would receive 0.09744 of a new Takeaway.com share for each of Just Eat share.
* Meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. reported fiscal third-quarter adjusted EPS of $1.47, meeting the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus mean estimate, and maintained its fiscal year 2019 guidance. For fiscal 2020, the company said it expects sales to grow in a range of 6% to 7%.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Walmart Inc. is likely to invest nearly $50 million in India's fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain startup NinjaCart, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing three people familiar with the development. Walmart India said it does not comment on market speculations or rumors, while NinjaCart did not respond to a request for comment, the report added.
* As many as 20 people died and 26 were injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, CNBC reported, citing law enforcement and Gov. Greg Abbott. The local police reportedly have taken a 21-year-old suspect into custody. The company said it is "in shock" over the events and it is working closely with authorities.
* Ocado Group PLC said it completed the sale of 50% of its British retail unit, Ocado Retail Ltd., to a subsidiary of Marks & Spencer Group PLC as part of the two companies' 50/50 joint venture partnership. Following the transaction's completion, the U.K. online grocer appointed Melanie Smith, strategy director at M&S, as CEO of Ocado Retail and Lawrence Hene, interim managing director of Ocado Retail, as deputy CEO for a transitional period.
* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it will not oppose Wesfarmers Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of online retailer Catch Group Holdings Ltd., adding that both companies are not close competitors "due to the differences in their business models."
* Russia's X5 Retail Group NV and Unilever PLC installed reverse vending machines at seven Perekrestok supermarkets and three Karusel hypermarkets in Moscow as part of a pilot to collect used plastics for recycling.
* Japanese and international banks are interested in a takeout financing of a ¥1.2 trillion bridge loan that is backing Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. proposed purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA's Australian unit Carlton & United Breweries, Reuters reported.
* Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky is considering raising his offer for Metro AG as his existing takeover proposal of €5.8 billion may be snubbed by shareholders, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Metro reportedly declined to comment on the report.
* Diageo PLC is investing £180 million into green energy and water recovery solutions at 11 of its breweries across seven countries in Africa, the Financial Times reported, citing Andrew Cowan, CEO of the company's East African Breweries Ltd. unit.
* Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. posted a 2.3% increase in its first-half revenue to ¥627.77 billion from ¥613.86 billion. For the six months ended June 30, profit attributable to owners of the company was ¥31.77 billion, down 23.1% from the year-ago period. The company's basic EPS decreased year over year to ¥102.82 from ¥133.66.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed Campbell Soup Co.'s issuer default rating at BBB, with a negative outlook. The negative outlook, according to the rating agency, reflects execution risk associated with integrating Snyder's-Lance, a snack-foods maker Campbell acquired in 2018, to improve profitability and continued weakness in Campbell's meals and beverages segment.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group Inc., backed by tobacco giant Altria Group Inc., has agreed to acquire four of cannabidiol-infused products retailer Redwood Holding Group LLC's operating subsidiaries for approximately $300 million.
* ITC Ltd. reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 despite posting growth in profit during the three months. The Indian tobacco company's diluted EPS came in at 2.57 Indian rupees, up from 2.29 rupees in the year-ago period but below the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 2.63 rupees.
* Debt-ridden luxury food chain Dean & DeLuca New York Inc. sent a letter to former staff in the U.S. stating that it is unable to make its federally mandated payments "because it is a faltering company and due to unforeseeable circumstances," The New York Times reported, citing accounts from employees and documents it received. Weekly paychecks for the chain's current employees also have repeatedly been delayed, the report added. Dean & Deluca's parent company, Pace Development Corp. Public Co. Ltd., did not respond to the newspaper's requests for comment.
* London-based restaurant chain operator Spudulike Ltd. closed its head office and all of its 37 branches due to a "last minute withdrawal" by a prospective buyer, joint administrators from Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group said. The company also laid off all of its 298 employees.
* Private equity company Everstone Capital is set to launch an initial share sale worth 5 billion Indian rupees to 7 billion rupees of its fast-food chain Burger King India, India's Mint reported, citing two people familiar with the development. The company reportedly has started working on the draft prospectus for the IPO, which it plans to file in the next two months, one of the people told the news outlet. Everstone Capital did not respond to a request for comment, the report added.
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Latest China tariffs cast a dark shadow over next round of talks
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 2.85% to 26,151.32, while the Nikkei 225 shed 1.74% to 20,720.29.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 2.18% to 7,245.47, and the Euronext 100 lost 2.19% to 1,028.29.
On the macro front
The US Services purchasing managers' index, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index and the TD Ameritrade investor movement index 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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