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Third Point nominates slate for Campbell board; Mondelez unveils growth strategy

TOP NEWS

* Third Point LLC put forth 12 nominees for Campbell Soup Co. board of directors, indicating that the activist hedge fund wants to replace the soup maker's entire board. The fund published a list of its nominees on a new website that Third Point is using to promote its campaign. The site states that fund CEO and Portfolio Manager Daniel Loeb also sent the list to Les Vinney, Campbell's current board chair. In a statement, Campbell said its board would review Third Point's nominees before putting forward its own slate ahead of the company's annual meeting.

* Mondelez International Inc. CEO Dirk Van de Put rolled out a new growth strategy as the company reported that it expects fiscal 2019 adjusted EPS to grow between 3% and 5%. Over the long term, Mondelez is targeting organic net revenue growth of at least 3% and "high single-digit" growth in adjusted EPS. The company behind Oreo and Cadbury also expects its fiscal 2019 organic net revenue to increase between 2% and 3%. Mondelez plans to increase investment in e-commerce and leverage partnerships and M&A to expand into new markets.

FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION

* The Competition and Markets Authority's probe into J Sainsbury PLC's merger with Walmart Inc.-owned ASDA Stores Ltd. may cause the deal to fall through, Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe told the Financial Times. The executive's acknowledgment of the matter comes after an analysis by The Times saying the British watchdog may require the retailers to sell up to 300 stores to ease market share concerns. "There is an EBITDA threshold at which point either party has the right to walk away," Coupe said, adding that the number refers to the company's level of profitability instead of its store count.

* Amazon.com Inc. is looking to launch Amazon Go, its checkout-free brick-and-mortar grocery store, in New York after an earlier launch in Seattle, Reuters reported, citing an Amazon spokesperson. The company's checkout-free grocery store allows customers to shop using their smartphone app without cashiers. The company has also disclosed plans to expand the stores to Chicago and San Francisco.

PACKAGED FOODS

* Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. will "firm up its interest" in GlaxoSmithKline PLC's Indian consumer products business, which includes the Horlicks brand, ahead of a deadline for first-round bids, The Sunday Telegraph reported, citing unnamed sources. The British newspaper said Coca-Cola is trying to diversify its beverage business as more consumers avoid sugary drinks and lean toward healthier options. The company, GSK and Citigroup Inc., Coca-Cola's reported adviser for the deal, declined to comment on the matter, The Sunday Telegraph said.

* The board of Campbell Soup Co. is ramping up its efforts to search for a new CEO, and COO Luca Mignini is at the top of the company's list of CEO candidates, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. This follows activist hedge fund Third Point's announcement of its 12 nominees that aim to replace Campbell's entire board. The soup maker's board also is preparing to interview external candidates for the CEO position, but nobody outside the company has been contacted yet, the report added.

* The Kraft Heinz Co. CEO Bernardo Hees said the company is "being hurt" by the retaliatory taxes on goods ranging from sauces to coffee imposed by Canada, in response to the U.S. government's steel and aluminum tariffs, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Hees reportedly declined to comment on Campbell, but the CEO said valuations are more attractive than a year ago. It was reported in June that Kraft Heinz was interested in acquiring Campbell.

* Nestlé SA's Philippine arm said it does not intend to close any of its manufacturing facilities in the country, following reports that the Swiss food giant will close a coffee processing plant unless it receives tax incentives. "Coffee under our Nescafé brand remains to be a core pillar for us, and we are committed to support the local coffee industry and our coffee farmers to growth," the company said in a statement posted on its website.

BEVERAGES

* As expected, Starbucks Coffee Korea Co. Ltd. began its trial run of using paper straws at 100 stores in Seoul and other major cities in the Asian country, Yonhap News Agency reported. The test run will continue until the Starbucks Corp. unit launches the change across all stores in South Korea in November. The company will remove all plastic straws and stirrers and will also introduce wooden stirrers to replace plastic ones, the report added.

RESTAURANTS

* Chinese hotpot restaurant chain Haidilao International Holding Ltd. is expected to raise up to HK$75.7 billion through its planned IPO in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a term sheet obtained by the newspaper. The Beijing-based company reportedly plans to issue 424.5 million shares at a price range between HK$14.80 and HK$17.80 per share, which comes out to an implied valuation of US$10 billion to US$12 billion. Trading of Haidilao shares is expected to start Sept. 26, after orders are taken for institutional investors from Sept. 10 and for retail investors from Sept. 12.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Canada needs to end its policy of low-price milk proteins to reach a deal with the U.S. on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, after talks between the two sides ended without a deal, Reuters reported. In an interview on C-SPAN television, Perdue said Canada must end its so-called Class 7 pricing scheme, which allows Canada to price milk ingredients such as protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder. It has led to oversupply of milk proteins, which is affecting U.S. dairy farmers, Perdue said.

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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 was down 1.33% to 26,613.42. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.30% to 22,373.09.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.36% to 7,304.01, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.48% to 1,034.28.

On the macro front

The consumer credit report 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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