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Third Point acquires 5.65% stake in Campbell; Tyson to sell pizza crust business

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Third Point acquires 5.65% stake in Campbell; Tyson to sell pizza crust business

TOP NEWS

* Activist investor Third Point LLC disclosed a 5.65% stake in Campbell Soup Co. for $686.4 million and said a sale of the company would be the only "justifiable outcome" in its current strategic review. In a filing, Third Point said it bought most of the stock of the company after Campbell's "disastrous" fiscal third-quarter results and the unexpected departure of former CEO Denise Morrison. The hedge fund said its analysis shows that "years of abysmal oversight" by Campbell's board led to management missteps, dismal operating performance and a number of ill-advised acquisitions.

* Tyson Foods Inc. agreed to sell its pizza crust business, TNT Crust, to an affiliate of private equity firm Peak Rock Capital LLC for an undisclosed sum. TNT Crust, which produces partially baked and self-rising pizza crusts for frozen pizza manufacturers and food service companies, operates two manufacturing sites in Green Bay, Wis., that employ more than 400 people. Those workers are expected to remain after the sale. The transaction is targeted for completion in September, with Goldman Sachs & Co. serving as financial adviser to Tyson.

FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION

* Casino Guichard-Perrachon Société Anonyme refuted a report released by research firm Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. that said the French retailer's franchise strategy "does not seem as straightforward" as previously assumed. The Bernstein report suggested that investors should slash about €152 million from the food conglomerate's EBITDA in order to determine Casino's proper valuation due to concerns over the franchise agreements. However, Casino said it is not obligated to buy back loss-making stores and that "in a very unlikely scenario where all the stores transferred would have to be simultaneously closed, the one-off cost for the group would be limited to around €50 million."

* Walmart Inc. is set to roll out an improved product returns program this fall that will make the process easier for both sellers and buyers, CNBC reported, citing a memo sent by the retail giant to marketplace sellers. The change will allow customers to view the return policy for each marketplace item on individual item pages and print shipping labels directly from their online accounts, as long as the returns are within the specified return window.

RESTAURANTS

* In a bid to attract more customers, restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. is "actively exploring" adding sports betting to its restaurants, CNBC reported. The move came after U.S. Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on legal betting in May, the report added.

PACKAGED FOODS

* Canada-based Pinty's Delicious Foods Inc. recalled its Oven Roasted Chicken Strips over fears of possible listeria contamination, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The products, which bear the best before dates of Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, were sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

* New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-op Group Ltd. said it cut its price forecast it intends to pay farmers for milk down to NZ$6.70 per kilogram from NZ$6.75 per kilogram. The company said its guidance is also now below the previous range of 25 cents to 30 cents. Fonterra added that its full-year dividend is likely to be just the 10 cents already paid in April.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved Bega Cheese Ltd.'s A$250 million acquisition of Saputo Inc.'s dairy processing facility at Koroit in the state of Victoria, Reuters reported. The transaction was subject to approval by the Australian regulator and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

* Connecticut-based Olympus Partners acquired food retailer Rise Baking Co. from fellow private equity firm Arbor Investments for an undisclosed sum. According to the release, Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented Olympus in the deal.

BEVERAGES

* Coca-Cola European Partners PLC's net income fell year over year in the second quarter as the bottler's volume decreased by 4.5% on a comparable basis. The company reported net income of €293 million, or 60 cents per share, in the quarter that ended June 29, down from €298 million, or 61 cents per share, in the same period in 2017. On a comparable basis, the bottler's EPS came in at 67 cents, in line with S&P Global Market Intelligence's final second-quarter estimate. Revenue totaled €3.06 billion, slightly up from €3.05 billion. Revenue per unit case rose 6.0% to €4.70 from €4.43, on a comparable and fx-neutral basis.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.84% to 28,366.62, and the Nikkei 225 declined 1.33% to 22,298.08.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.76% to 7,682.32, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.10% to 1,066.65.

On the macro front

The Treasury Budget report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the consumer price 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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