Management

Pet food investment

Activist Dan Loeb barks loudly at Colgate’s door. Should they let him in?

Colgate Palmolive has come under fire from activist shareholder Dan Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund. He now holds a $1 billion stake in the company. Thirdpoint invests in companies undergoing spinoffs and pushes for “corporate change”. Loeb’s stake in Colgate is around 6% of the fund’s assets. Activist investors are becoming increasingly active in the …

Activist Dan Loeb barks loudly at Colgate’s door. Should they let him in? Read More »

Olympus strategy

Olympus looks to the future appointing its second foreign CEO

The first time Tokyo listed Olympus appointed a foreign CEO it ended in tears. Michael Woodford’s tenure was short-lived. Woodford questioned huge fees paid to unknown companies which had links to criminal entities. Dismissed, he sued Olympus. The case concluded with a substantial out of court settlement in Woodward’s favour. Then Olympus was synonymous with …

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Strategic advice

‘Managing the consultants’ the Economist’s Money Talks podcast weighs in

Why do firms and Governments hire consultants? In a recent Economist podcast, the paper tackled this question. It focused on the rise of McKinsey, Bain & BCG (aka MBB), their reputation for earning ‘fat fees’ and controversies, for example McKinsey’s work in China and Saudi Arabia. For many, including the Economist it seems, the role …

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Mars new CEO

As Mars’ CEO retires, what big bets will his successor wage?

Last week the FT carried an interview with John Reid, the outgoing CEO of Mars. What few metrics are published by Mars (the company is one of the world’s largest, privately owned businesses), it seems that Reid’s tenure has been an unqualified success. Global revenues now exceed $45b and have leapt dramatically under Reid’s tenure.  …

As Mars’ CEO retires, what big bets will his successor wage? Read More »

Are the venture funds launched by giant food & beverage firms the best way to accelerate growth?

Most consumer goods companies drive growth through gaining penetration (new users, new points of distribution), upping frequency (often through occasion based marketing) and trading up (premiumisation). I’ve worked with many clients in multiple categories and there are always white spaces of untapped revenue, often close by. For many managers, sweating existing assets is less risky …

Are the venture funds launched by giant food & beverage firms the best way to accelerate growth? Read More »

Ben & Jerry's Unilever

Now that Nelson Peltz is a Unilever Board member what will he choose as his favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour?

Founded in 1978 in Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was sold to FMCG giant Unilever in 2000. Under Unilever’s stewardship the business has grown, and dig deep into the 2021 annual report, has sales over Euros 1 billion (US$1.13bn).  Export has been a large growth contributor. The brand is sold in over 35 countries, …

Now that Nelson Peltz is a Unilever Board member what will he choose as his favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour? Read More »

Digital media

S4 Capital’s lust for whopper growth wrenches its auditor’s nerves

S4 Capital has all the makings of a Harvard case study. It’s a tale of a mercurial advertising scion, spurned by a business he previously founded, who in 5 years turned a shell company into a global advertising giant. It’s a tale that is still in its early chapters. S4 Capital was founded in 2018 …

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With flat revenues and mounting losses, is Aeon scared to reform its legacy and low margin retail businesses?

Aeon employs over 155,000 staff across a plethora of businesses ranging from General Merchandise, Supermarket and Drug stores, plus financial services and shopping centre developments.  Although global retailers have been challenged to expand internationally (think of Tesco’s advance and retreat in the US, or Carrefour’s global pull back), Aeon has developed businesses in Hong Kong, …

With flat revenues and mounting losses, is Aeon scared to reform its legacy and low margin retail businesses? Read More »

Investors get itchy on ESG; Unilever gets hot & sweaty over GSK. Is another bid for bubbling?

Unilever is not currently a stock market darling. In 2021 its shares fell 9% whilst the broader London market rose 11%. Compared to peers like Nestlé and J&J, Unilever’s stock price has underperformed significantly. For two consecutive years its pre-tax profits have fallen, Unilever also missed another key goal: 3-5% sales growth. There are growing …

Investors get itchy on ESG; Unilever gets hot & sweaty over GSK. Is another bid for bubbling? Read More »

Panko or Breadcrumbs are an integral part of Japanese cuisine, however the industry faces stiff headwinds

Not many people know that the Japanese breadcrumb category is worth around $350m. Breadcrumbs are an every day part of life and used to make batter for fried foods like Tonkasu and fish, they also coat many types of vegetable dishes. Panko as it’s called here, is a combination of the word ‘Pan’ (‘Le pain’, …

Panko or Breadcrumbs are an integral part of Japanese cuisine, however the industry faces stiff headwinds Read More »

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