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Bunge postpones Brazil IPO; Tesco chairman pledges to diversify board

TOP NEWS

* Bunge Ltd. postponed the planned IPO of its Brazilian sugar mill business because of the market conditions in the country, the company said in a statement to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The New York-based agribusiness company said it will monitor and evaluate the Brazilian market before it resumes the IPO process.

* Tesco PLC chairman John Allan promised to make the U.K. retailer's board more ethnically diverse, Retail Gazette reported, citing Allan's response to an investor question at its annual meeting. Allan reportedly added that he wanted to find more candidates who reflect the company's commitment to diversify.

BEVERAGES

* Dutch brewer Heineken NV's British unit will invest £44 million in 500 of its 2,900 Star Pubs & Bars outlets to create 1,000 jobs and fund 140 projects and upgrades, The Financial Times reported. David Fordem, the brewer's U.K. managing director, reportedly said the investment will help its licensees' businesses continue to grow despite the challenges the pub sector faces.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its A- global scale credit rating on Fomento Económico Mexicano SAB de CV, or FEMSA, and maintained its stable outlook on the Mexican retail chain operator and majority stakeholder of Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB de CV. The rating agency expects FEMSA to maintain its financial performance over the next two years through its operations, liquidity and manageable debt levels despite the challenging economic conditions.

RESTAURANTS

* U.K.-based paper straw manufacturer Transcend Packaging will open a paper straw production line in Ebbw Vale, Wales to produce millions of straws annually for food companies such as McDonald's Corp. as they get ready for the U.K.'s ban on plastic straws, The Guardian reported, citing Mark Varney, sales and marketing director of Transcend. The manufacturer recently signed a deal to supply straws for 1,361 McDonald's establishments from September, the report said.

PACKAGED FOODS

* Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.'s Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. said in a release that it voluntarily recalled a limited quantity of 6-ounce, 12-ounce and 28-ounce vegetable trays of broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks and carrots with dill dip that are potentially contaminated with Cyclospora, a parasite that can cause intestinal illness. The fresh produce company was notified by state authorities of its products' possible link to a cluster of illnesses. The trays were sold to select retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Numerous private equity investors are in separate talks to acquire a controlling stake in Indian packaging solution company Manjushree Technopack Ltd, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing two people aware of the development. The Carlyle Group LLC, KKR & Co. LP, Advent International Corp. and Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc. are reportedly interested in the stake, and the proposed sell-out would value Manjushree at $250 million to $300 million. The report added that spokespersons for KKR and Carlyle declined to comment, while emails sent to Manjushree, IPG and Advent did not elicit any response till press time.

* Myanmar-based conglomerate Dagon International Ltd. will build a food processing industrial park in Myanmar to enter the agribusiness market as it plans to diversify beyond its core real estate segment, Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing company's chairman Wing Aung and CEO Thurane Aung. Dagon plans to attract 80 companies to the 200-hectare park to be set up in East Dagon, a township in Northeast Yangon, the report said. According to the report, the investment in the industrial park is expected to range between $100 million and $150 million.

* Multinational companies with Brazil operations are evaluating the impact of a nationwide trucker's strike, which stalled operations in the Latin American country, on their revenues, The Financial Times reported. Unilever PLC warned that its revenue for the second quarter ending June 30 may decrease by €150 million since Brazil accounts for 6% of its sales, while Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA/NV, which credits Brazil with 16% of its total sales, declined to comment, the report said. Coca-Cola Co. said its Brazilian operations suffered during the strike, which lasted 10 days between late May and early June, the report added.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.43% to 30,309.49. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.75% to 22,680.33.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 7,609.25. and the Euronext 100 was down 0.99% to 1,058.92.

On the macro front

The housing market index report is due out today.

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