* Investment company JAB Holding Co. SARL said it will merge specialty coffee brand Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. and tea and coffee company Jacobs Douwe Egberts BV into a single entity, called JDE Peet's, to explore an IPO. JAB said the listing is slated to be completed in 2020, and it plans to remain the controlling stakeholder. JDE Peet's, which will have operations in 140 countries and is expected to generate about €7 billion in revenue, will be run by Peet's CEO Casey Keller, effective January 2020. JAB did not specify the valuation it is eyeing and where it would list the company.
* General Mills Inc. said adjusted diluted EPS for the second quarter of fiscal 2020 jumped year over year to 95 cents from 85 cents, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 88 cents. The maker of baking products and cereals also reaffirmed its fiscal 2020 guidance for sales, profit and EPS.
* Australia's Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. said Martyn Roberts resigned from the position of group CFO. The Coca-Cola Co. bottler will conduct an internal and external search for a new CFO in 2020.
* Employee-shareholders of New Belgium Brewing Co. Inc. have approved Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd.'s proposal to take over the company, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, without disclosing where it obtained the information. The Japanese brewer plans to acquire New Belgium through its beverage unit Lion Pty. Ltd. Kirin and New Belgium did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.
* Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.-owned Asahi Breweries Ltd. said it will report the sales value of its beer and quasi-beer products starting January 2020, instead of disclosing sales volume figures, The Japan Times reported, citing Asahi Breweries President Kenichi Shiozawa.
* Commodity trader Louis Dreyfus Co. BV said it appointed Patrick Treuer as its CFO, effective immediately.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Japan Tobacco Inc. reported a decline of 4.7% in domestic cigarette revenue in November to ¥37.3 billion from ¥39.2 billion a year ago. The Tokyo-based cigarette manufacturer said it sold 5.8 billion cigarettes in during the month, down 4.8% from 6.1 billion cigarettes sold a year ago.
* The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority ordered British American Tobacco PLC to stop promoting e-cigarettes on public Instagram pages as the content of the cigarette company's posts was promotional and "clearly went beyond" the permitted factual information. The advertising watchdog said the ads breached a 2016 regulation that bans advertising of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes in certain media.
* Oreo-maker Mondelez International Inc. said it named Minsok Pak as its chief strategy and transformation officer, as well as executive vice president, effective Jan. 13, 2020. Pak, who most recently was Target Corp.'s executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer, will also lead the company's innovation and venture hub SnackFutures.
* Shenandoah Valley Organic LLC closed a $15 million funding round, led by NRV Early Stage Growth Fund LP with participation from Open Prairie Ventures Inc., among others. The chicken producer said it will use the funds for investments in plant modernization and marketing.
* Philippines-based fast-food chain Jollibee Foods Corp. said it expects to grow to 250 stores across North America by 2023, with 150 branches in the U.S. and 100 branches in Canada.
* Private equity firm Triton Pacific said it completed the acquisition of YUM! Brands Inc.'s 117 Pizza Hut restaurants and select real estate assets for about $80 million.
* Restaurant operator and franchiser Bojangles' Inc. inked a franchise agreement with Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. to expand its footprint across four new states. Under the partnership, 40 Bojangles' restaurants will open inside Love's Travel Stops in four states: Illinois, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi.
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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 gained 0.15% to 27,844.21, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.55% to 23,934.43.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.13% to 7,535.25, and the Euronext 100 increased 0.05% to 1,141.47.
On the macro front
The MBA mortgage applications report and the EIA petroleum status report is 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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