* Campbell Soup Co. signed an agreement to sell Australian cookie brand Arnott's Biscuits Ltd. and certain international operations to private equity firm KKR & Co. for $2.2 billion, confirming an earlier report. The deal, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first half of fiscal 2020.
* Kellogg Co. reaffirmed its guidance for 2019 of an adjusted EPS decline of 10% to 11% after posting second-quarter results that beat estimates. For the quarter ended June 29, adjusted diluted EPS came in at 99 cents, down 13.2% year over year but beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 92 cents.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Australian retailer Woolworths Group Ltd. broke ground on its fresh produce distribution center in a Melbourne suburb. The facility is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent roles when it opens in late-2020.
* British grocer Tesco PLC is downsizing its hypermarkets in Poland, with reconstruction beginning this month, European Supermarket Magazine reported, citing local news portal Wiadomości Handlowe. Tesco is also finalizing the sale of eight of its Polish hypermarkets, the report said.
* Arizona-based food retailer Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. said its diluted EPS for 13 weeks ended June 30 came in at 30 cents, lower than 32 cents for the equivalent 2018 period and missing the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 31 cents. Net sales rose 7% year over year to $1.42 billion from $1.32 billion.
* On-demand food delivery provider DoorDash Inc. said it will buy Square Inc.'s food delivery platform Caviar for $410 million in cash and DoorDash preferred stock.
* Amazon.com Inc. will disable its press-to-order Dash Buttons globally by the end of August, after canceling sales of the product in late February.
* Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV-owned Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc. is voluntarily recalling a line of cookies due to the potential presence of visible, blue plastic pieces in the individual packaging pouch. The products were distributed to retail outlets across 37 U.S. states.
* Aberdeen Standard Investments Ltd., one of Just Eat PLC's largest shareholders, said Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com NV's merger offer "does not reflect the intrinsic value" of the London-based online food delivery platform, The Times (London) reported. The investor, which owns a 5% stake in Just Eat, highlighted the British company's "reassuring" half-year results and said it should be valued above the offer price of 731 pence per share.
* Singapore-based grocery delivery startup Honestbee Pte. Ltd. has applied to start a court-supervised restructuring process as it seeks a reprieve from creditors, to whom it owes over $180 million, The Straits Times reported, citing a filing to the Singapore High Court. Honestbee reportedly also laid off 38 employees in Singapore.
* India's Rebel Foods Pvt. Ltd., formerly known as Faasos, has raised $125 million in a funding round led by New York-based hedge fund Coatue Management, The Economic Times (India) reported. Ride-hailing firm PT Go-Jek Indonesia and Goldman Sachs also participated in the latest round, the report said.
* British wine and liquor retailer Majestic Wine PLC has agreed to sell its brick-and-mortar businesses to private equity firm Fortress Investment Group LLC, for a total consideration of £95 million, confirming earlier reports. The retailer also will sell a freehold property owned by Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd. to an independent third party for £5 million.
* Chicago-based agribusiness Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. reported second-quarter adjusted EPS of 60 cents, a sharp decline from $1.02 in the year-ago period and missing the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 65 cents. CEO Juan Luciano said the results for the six months ended June 30 were affected by the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, as well as unfavorable weather, leading to a year-over-year decline in first-half adjusted segment operating profit to $1.29 billion from $1.64 billion.
* Chinese dairy business Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. Ltd. has completed its NZ$588 million acquisition of New Zealand-based Westland Co-operative Dairy Co. Ltd., food industry website Just Food reported, citing a regulatory filing.
* Sweet-baked-goods maker Hostess Brands Inc. agreed to sell its in-store bakery business Superior Cake Products Inc. to Sara Lee Frozen Bakery for $65 million. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.
* Brazilian meat processor JBS SA said its subsidiary Seara Alimentos SA completed the acquisition of Adelle Industria de Alimentos SA's hog processing plant in Seberi, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
* Restaurant Brands International Inc., operator of Burger King, Popeye's and Tim Hortons, reported adjusted diluted EPS of 71 cents for the second quarter, compared with 66 cents in the prior-year quarter and above the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 67 cents. During three months ended June 30, systemwide sales grew 7.9% year over year, boosted by comparable sales growth in its Burger King and Popeye's fast-food chains.
* Restaurant Brands International's Burger King is expanding the rollout of its plant-based Impossible Whopper, which uses burger patties made by Impossible Foods Inc., across the U.S. beginning Aug. 8.
* Dine Brands Global Inc., operator of Applebee's restaurants, appointed Susan Collyns to its board, effective immediately. The new appointment increases the company's board size to 10 from nine directors.
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The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dipped 2.35% to 26,918.58, and the Nikkei 225 declined 2.11% to 21,087.16.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 1.69% to 7,456.63, and the Euronext 100 was down 2.42% to 1,060.63.
On the macro front
The motor vehicle sales consensus, the employment situation report, the international trade report, the consumer sentiment report, the factory orders report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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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