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MillerCoors to cut 350 jobs; Nestlé closes Terrafertil acquisition

TOP NEWS

* MillerCoors, a division of Denver-based brewing company Molson Coors Brewing Co., said it will cut about 350 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to "get its business back on track." The beer company said its organization and cost base are "out of line" with the scale of its business and rising costs. MillerCoors added that about 150 of the 350 jobs it plans to eliminate had been held open or were cut earlier in 2018 and that it will offer a voluntary severance program for affected employees.

* Nestlé SA said it completed its previously announced acquisition of a majority stake in Latin American natural and organic foods manufacturer Terrafertil after gaining approval from relevant antitrust authorities. Nestlé will acquire Terrafertil's assets and operations in Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, the U.S. and the U.K. The size of the majority stake and the deal terms were not disclosed.

FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION

* Food distributor Premium Brands Holdings Corp. entered into a definitive agreement with U.S.-based lobster processor and distributor Ready Seafood for an undisclosed amount. The Canadian company expects the deal to close within the next four weeks, the release said.

* U.S. delivery app Uber Eats entered into a partnership with South Korean food service company CJ Foodville Corp. in a bid to boost its presence in the country's burgeoning food delivery market, Yonhap News Agency reported. Major CJ Foodville brands, such as VIPS, Cheiljemyunso, The Place and Juice Solution, will be accessible through the Uber Eats app in Seoul. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

* Canadian retail giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is spinning out its 61.6% stake in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, as part of a reorganization plan that will result in George Weston Ltd. owning a 65.4% stake in the retail REIT. George Weston, which has a 3.8% direct stake in Choice Properties, will replace Loblaw as the major shareholder of the REIT. Under the proposed transaction, Loblaw common shareholders, other than George Weston, will receive George Weston common shares that have the same value as their pro rata interest in the REIT.

RESTAURANTS

* Private equity firm Peak Rock Capital LLC has completed its previously announced acquisition of Tyson Foods Inc.'s pizza crust business TNT Crust. The company announced the move without disclosing financial terms. Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods sold the unit to focus on its protein business.

PACKAGED FOODS

* New Zealand-based The a2 Milk Co. Ltd. rolled out its a2 Milk Whole Milk product to Costco stores across the U.S. In addition to Costco, a2 Milk will also be available at more than 6,000 retail outlets in the U.S. including at major grocers Walmart Inc., Wegmans Food Markets Inc., The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC, Whole Foods Market Inc., Target Corp. and Ralphs Grocery Company Inc., the release said.

* Hong Kong-based Cookies Quartet, a biscuit maker co-founded by a former Miss Hong Kong, launched an IPO, the South China Morning Post reported. The company aims to expand overseas and has agreements with two distributors to sell its products in Canada and Taiwan. Cookies Quartet will also grow online sales in China, where it has been active since 2016, the newspaper added.

* An additional 30 people from 19 states have been identified as part of a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections linked to Kellogg Co. Honey Smacks cereal, which the food company recalled in June, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This brings the total case count to 130 spread across 36 states, as of Aug. 30. The CDC said 34 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* China's Shandong Provincial Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau sent a notice to slaughterhouses in the eastern Shandong province, asking them to prioritize the purchase of local hogs, according to a Reuters report. The notice, which follows the multistate breakout of African swine fever in the country, forbade the slaughterhouses from purchasing and transporting pigs from the provinces affected with the disease. It also called for training more staff on reporting cases to the authorities, the report said. Meanwhile, China's state radio, citing comments from a researcher at an academy backed by the agriculture ministry, assured that the breakout will have a short-term impact on pork sales and supply, Reuters reported. The report added that the negative impact will decline over time as the country takes steps to improve quality control.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng fell 2.61% to 27,243.85, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.51% to 22,580.83.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.45% to 7,424.68, and the Euronext 100 decreased 0.84% to 1,039.01.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the international trade report and the Redbook 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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