* Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd.-owned Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. admitted that it has underpaid about ¥490 million to more than 30,000 workers across its retail chain network since 2012, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. The convenience store operator said errors arose due to accounting miscalculations and vowed to pay the overdue sums, but the company did not specify a timeline.
* Just Eat PLC rejected Prosus NV's latest takeover offer, saying it significantly undervalues the company. The board of the British online food delivery company urged its shareholders to reject Prosus' offer because its recommended merger with Takeaway.com NV provides "a compelling strategic rationale."
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Canadian packaged food producer Metro Inc. sold its MissFresh ready-to-cook meal brand to fellow Montreal-based food retailer, Cook it.
* Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. reported 2.8% year-over-year growth in total store sales in November as same-store sales increased 1.1% during the month.
* Iowa-based Casey's General Stores Inc. reported 23% year-over-year growth in its second-quarter reported diluted EPS to $2.21 from $1.80. It also surpassed the S&P Global Market Intelligence normalized EPS estimate of $2.15. For the quarter ended Oct. 31, revenue decreased to $2.49 billion from $2.54 billion in the year-ago quarter.
* Swedish grocery retailer ICA Gruppen AB said its November sales, excluding taxes, rose 4.1% to 9.90 billion kronor year over year. Like-for-like sales increased 3.7%.
* Walmart Inc.'s Indian arm launched a support program, dubbed Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program, to train and prepare 50,000 Indian small businesses to expand their domestic capabilities.
* Constellation Brands Inc. promoted Garth Hankinson to executive vice president and CFO, effective Jan. 13, 2020. Hankinson will succeed David Klein, who will step down from the company to become the CEO of medical cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp., effective Jan. 14, 2020. Constellation Brands in 2018 invested C$5 billion in Canopy Growth.
* Distiller Iconic Brands Inc. said it entered a stock purchase agreement to sell the majority of its stake in subsidiary Green Grow Farms Inc. to Canbiola Inc., which manufactures and sells cannabis products such as oil, drops and moisturizers.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Two of the earliest investors of Juul Labs Inc. cut their valuations of the e-cigarette maker, according to media reports. Investment firm Tiger Global Management cut its valuation of Juul to $19 billion at the end of September from $38 billion in December 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the development. Asset manager Fidelity Investments slashed the company's valuation to $16.4 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing an unnamed source. A spokeswoman for Tiger Global declined to comment to the Journal, while Fidelity Investments and Juul did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's requests for comment.
* China Mengniu Dairy Co. Ltd.'s proposal to acquire infant-formula and baby-food maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd. has been cleared by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia, according to a filing to the Australian Stock Exchange.
* Tyson Foods Inc. said its beef and pork subsidiary, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., signed a deal with the Republic of Kazakhstan and private equity firm Kusto Group Inc. to work on the establishment of a beef processing plant in the country.
* Nestlé SA plans to launch an energy water drink, called Polar Spring, and mineral-infused bottled waters in 2020, CNBC reported, citing Yumi Clevenger-Lee, chief marketing officer of Nestlé Waters North America Inc.
* U.K.'s Premier Foods PLC appointed Duncan Leggett as its CFO, effective immediately. Leggett was named acting CFO in August.
* Domino's Pizza Inc. said it will expand its GPS driver tracking feature to about 25% of company-owned outlets by the end of 2019, after initiating a pilot in April. The pizza chain plans to roll out the feature to a "significant" proportion of its remaining outlets in 2020.
* The Blackstone Group Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd.'s technology park has hit a roadblock as one of the creditors of the troubled company has yet to approve the deal, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* U.K.-based pub operator J D Wetherspoon PLC will invest of more than £200 million in expanding its pub estate over the next four years. The company expects to create about 10,000 new jobs through its investment, the majority of which will be directed to small and medium-sized towns.
* Domino's Pizza Group PLC said its chairman, Stephen Hemsley, will step down from his position, effective Dec. 29. Hemsley will be replaced on an interim basis by Ian Bull, senior independent director.
* McDonald's Corp. named Ian Borden as president of its international business, effective immediately. Most recently, Borden was president of international developmental licensed markets for the fast-food chain.
* Vietnam is studying potential tariff cuts for U.S. agricultural products as it seeks to address concerns from the Trump administration about a growing trade imbalance between the two countries, Reuters and Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance.
* China's consumer prices rose faster than expected in November with annual headline inflation reaching its highest level since early 2012 at 4.5%, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. The increase was driven by food prices, which rose 19.1% year over year on the back of a 110.2% surge in pork as the country continues to grapple with the African swine fever that has killed millions of pigs.
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Agriculture loan delinquencies rise in Q3'19, but some see signs of optimism
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.22% to 26,436.62, and the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.09% to 23,410.19.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.93% to 7,166.27, and the Euronext 100 decreased 1.04% to 1,111.47.
On the macro front
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, Productivity and Costs and Redbook 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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