June's top stories: Tyson's $8.55bn acquisition offer, ConAgra's $200m expansion

Tyson Foods submits a binding offer to acquire Hillshire Brands for $8.55bn, Iranian researchers develop starch nanocrystals to conserve food products, Irish Dairy Board opens new cheese manufacturing facility in the US, and Arla Foods unveils £150m milk processing facility in the UK. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from June 2014.


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Tyson Foods submits $8.55bn offer to acquire Hillshire Brands

US-based meat processor Tyson Foods submitted a unilaterally binding offer to acquire packaged food company Hillshire Brands for $63 per share in cash, in a deal which values the company at $8.55bn, including outstanding net debt.

The proposal is higher than Pilgrim's Pride's offer of $55 per share on 5 June 2014, which values the company at $7.7bn.

Tyson initially offered $50 per share on 29 May 2014, two days after a $45 per share offer from Pilgrim's Pride.

Iranian researchers develop starch nanocrystals to conserve food products

Researchers from the University of Tehran in Iran developed new starch nanocrystals that can be used as a coating for the protection and enrichment of food products in processing facilities.

Over the past few years, researchers have studied the use of starch for the conservation of food products as it is cheap and biodegradable.

The new research uses this powder to produce a new coating that does not have any undesired effect on the consumer or the environment.

ConAgra Foods completes $200m expansion of frozen potato facility in US

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, completed the expansion of its frozen potato facility in Boardman, Oregon, US, with an investment of about $200m.

The move adds around 100 new jobs to the local economy.

The expansion is part of the firm's efforts to meet consumer demand for frozen potato products, both domestically and internationally.

European Commission fines food firms for fixing prices of canned mushrooms

The European Commission fined French frozen / canned vegetable producer Bonduelle and Dutch peer Prochamp a total of €32.22m, after it was discovered that the firms fixed prices of canned mushrooms in Europe for more than a year.

Prochamp received a reduction of 30% for cooperating with the investigation, and both firms received further fine reductions of 10%, as they agreed to settle the case.

Bonduelle was fined €30.20m and Prochamp €2.02m.

Premier Foods forms JV with Specialty Powders to strengthen grocery infrastructure

Premier Foods

UK-based Premier Foods entered into an agreement with Specialty Powders to establish a stand-alone joint venture to process and pack powdered beverages and desserts at its Knighton facility in Staffordshire.

This move is line with Premier Foods' strategy to maximise value and efficiencies from its grocery infrastructure.

The new joint venture, known as Knighton Foods, will combine dry powders manufacturing capabilities and assets from both companies at the Knighton site.

 

Irish Dairy Board opens new cheese manufacturing facility in US

IDB

The Irish Dairy Board (IDB), a co-operative enterprise based in Ireland, opened a new $12m cheese manufacturing facility at its Thiel Cheese & Ingredients (Thiel) operations in Wisconsin, US.

The plant was officially opened by Ireland Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney.

The centre, which features some of the most advanced dairy processing equipment in the US dairy sector, includes a state-of-the-art innovation centre that will provide functional cheese solutions to its US food ingredients and food services.

Meijer breaks ground on new dairy facility in Ohio

Meijer

Meijer, a regional American hypermarket chain based in Michigan, began construction work on a $100m dairy production facility in Tipp City, Miami County, Ohio, US.

The new plant, which is the retailer's first dairy production facility in Ohio, will produce a variety of dairy products including milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.

It will produce 30 million gallons of milks, fruit drinks and teas, plus a range of other dairy products, which will be sold in 100 stores in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Arla Foods opens £150m milk processing facility in UK

Dairy cooperative Arla Foods opened a £150m fresh milk processing facility in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK.

The new facility, which is said to be the world's largest fresh milk dairy, can produce around 1.5 million bottles of fresh milk per day.

It has the capacity to process up to 240,000 litres of milk per hour and one billion litres annually.