Consumer Stock Takeovers: Deals and Targets

(Consumer stock takeover report updated with details about Unilever's acquisition of Russia-based Concern Kalina.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Unilever ( UN) is set to acquire Russian cosmetic maker Concern Kalina, underscoring a growing trend of corporate deal-making in the consumer stock sector.

M&A activity in the U.S. was up more than 40% year over year in the first half of 2011, and the second half of the year already has seen its share of deals.

Unilever announced Oct. 14 it would acquire 82% of Kalina as it looks to grow its footprint in the "high-growth" emerging market with a "leading position in skin care in Russia."

The deal values Kalina, Russia's largest skin, hair and personal product maker, at around $690.4 million.

Kalina's portfolio of personal care products adds to Unilever's roster, which includes Dove, Axe, Pond's, St. Ives, TRESemme, Sunsilk, Vaseline and V05, among others.

Once the 82% acquisition passes regulatory approval, Unilever said it would make a tender offer for the remainder of Kalina's shares. Kalina is currently listed on the RTS and MICEX stock exchanges.

Click here for news of other recent takeover deals and targets...

ConAgra Foods ( CAG) said Sept. 19 it was withdrawing its $94-a-share takeover bid for Ralcorp ( RAH).

"This follows Ralcorp's failure to enter into a constructive dialogue with ConAgra Foods," the company said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Ralcorp maintained that the $5.2 billion takeover offer was insufficient. Ralcorp instead has touted its plan to spin off its Post Cereals unit as one that offered superior value to shareholders. After ConAgra was rejected by Ralcorp three times, some analysts speculated ConAgra might go ahead and turn its bid hostile.

It's no surprise ConAgra removed its offer; it said Sept. 14 it would walk away from the offer if Ralcorp didn't sit down at the negotiation table by Sept. 19. The most recent $94 bid was up from $86 a share; the original bid was for $82.

ConAgra said Ralcorp's board was "singularly focused" on its Post spinoff, refusing any attempts at M&A negotiations. ConAgra argued the "superior value and certainty" of its acquisition offer. ConAgra maintained that its offer represented a 44% premium to Ralcorp's March 21 closing price, the day before it made its initial bid; the maker of Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice and Hebrew National food brands also said its bid was 32% higher than Ralcorp's all-time closing high.

ConAgra has said that Ralcorp's Post Cereals spinoff plan "does not provide competitive value to Ralcorp's shareholders relative to ConAgra Foods' proposal." For ConAgra, acquiring Ralcorp and its roster of private-label brands would help it bulk up its generic food brands and better compete with other private-label providers as consumers continue to trade down to lower-priced offerings. Still, if Ralcorp is unwilling to negotiate at all, ConAgra is left with few choices. Ralcorp is incorporated in Missouri, a state with strict anti-takeover laws that protect unwilling targets. Ralcorp also instituted a poison pill that protects against hostile buyers by making unwanted acquisitions very expensive to the buyer.

Additionally, Ralcorp announced in early August its plan to buy Sara Lee's ( SLE) refrigerated dough business for $545 million as part of its own efforts to bulk up its private-label operations.

PepsiCo ( PEP) said Sept. 9 that it completed its acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, a Russian manufacturer of dairy and juice products, a deal initially announced on July 1.

The deal was valued at around $5.4 billion, including the assumption of about $1 billion in debt, making it one of the largest non-energy-related foreign investments in Russia.

Russia is now Pepsi's largest markets outside the U.S. The deal is expected to add around $5 billion in annual revenue to Pepsi.

Pepsi acquired around 1.4% of WBD's outstanding shares through a squeeze-out where majority shareholders effectively pressured minority holders to divest their shares. Pepsi now owns 100% of WBD's outstanding ordinary shares, including all ordinary shares underlying American depositary shares (ADS).

Each WBD shareholder received 3,883.70 Russian rubles ($131.38) per share, the same price Pepsi offered to WBD shareholders in a recently completed tender offer in Russia. Each ADS holder will receive 970.925 Russian rubles ($32.75) per ADS in cash.

Google ( GOOG) acquired restaurant reviewing service Zagat Survey, according to Sept. 8 reports, in an effort to bolster its relationships with local businesses and advertisers.

"Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering -- delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world," said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of local, maps and location services, in a blog post. She added that Zagat gives Google "a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry."

Zagat guides, founded more than 30 years ago, review hotels, restaurants, shopping and a wide range of consumer categories. The service is available in print and online.

The deal price was undisclosed, and some speculated whether the agreed-upon price was similar to the near-$500 million Google offered for Yelp -- an online user-generated review service for local businesses -- in 2009.

News of the deal hit online restaurant reservation service OpenTable ( OPEN) particularly hard; investors bid the stock nearly 12% lower in the minutes following news of Google's Zagat acquisition.

McCormick ( MKC) said Sept. 8 it completed its $286 million buyout of spice maker Kamis S.A., a Poland-based maker of spices and seasonings with distribution subsidiaries throughout Eastern Europe, including Russia, Romania and Ukraine.

McCormick said the acquisition strengthened its footprint in Europe, along with a recent joint venture in Turkey.

The move was part of McCormick's broader strategy of expansion into emerging markets, a trend many other food makers also have taken up.

The Kamis acquisition is expected to add around $103 million in annual revenue to McCormick's operations, and 6 cents per share to 2012 earnings.

Billionaire Carl Icahn stepped up his proxy fight for Clorox ( CLX). On Aug. 30 he said he would backstop an auction for the cleaning supplies maker, hoping to obtain $78 per share, if the board members he nominated were elected. If the auction fails to bring in an offer at that price then he will buy the company himself at that rate, valuing the company at $10.26 billion.

Clorox had twice rejected Icahn's acquisition bids; in mid-July he offered $76.50 per share, and then raised his offer to $80 per share. Clorox then adopted a shareholder rights plan, which amounts to a "poison pill" that protects against hostile buyers through share dilution. Clorox's most recent takeover rejection came as the company questions Icahn's ability to fund the acquisition. Icahn said Tuesday he would fund half of the purchase with cash with the remainder funded through registered senior unsecured notes. He has said recently that he had a "highly confident" financing letter from Jefferies Group.

Clorox's board and shareholders would still vote on the deal, Icahn said. "The Clorox shareholders should have the right to decide for themselves whether to accept my bid or a better bid which I believe will be forthcoming from the sale process," he said Tuesday. Icahn already owns around 9.4% of Clorox.

On Aug. 19 Icahn made clear his plans to take control of all the seats on Clorox's board, intending to nominate himself, his son and nine others for election to the company's board at its next annual shareholder meeting, the date of which has yet to be set.

"When you try to seek control of a company's board, rather than nominating a minority slate, the focus becomes what you'll do with control as opposed to the failings of the earlier management team," Charles Elson, director of the University of Delaware's Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, told Reuters at the time.

Icahn's original proposal was widely viewed as merely a way to put Clorox in play. Entities controlled by Icahn own roughly 9.4% of Clorox's outstanding common stock, making him the company's largest shareholder. He tapped consumer products makers Procter & Gamble ( PG), Unilever ( UN), Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) and Colgate-Palmolive ( CL) as possible "strategic buyers" that might offer "superior bids." "We are in a unique position as your largest shareholder in that we are wearing two hats -- one as a shareholder and another as a buyer," Icahn wrote in his July 15 letter.

Speculation that PepsiCo ( PEP) may be headed for a separation of its drinks and snacks businesses may be just that. On the heels of Kraft Foods ( KFT) and Sara Lee's ( SLE) moves to slim down for profits by spinning off parts of their businesses, some analysts wondered if PepsiCo might do well to take similar action.

But "PepsiCo isn't on the road to Splitsville any time soon," said IBISWorld beverage analyst Agata Kaczanowska. Its "dual portfolio of snacks and beverages allows PepsiCo pricing flexibility in its highly competitive beverages business because it is balanced out by a strong market position in the snacks business."

Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi has commented that the company's Frito-Lay operations could thrive as an independently run company, but has also said that marketing and distribution synergies for its dual snacks-beverages portfolio are too beneficial for the company to break the two up.

Kaczanowska pointed out that "in the US Soda Production industry the company has a 33.6% market share. It is second behind Coca-Cola ( KO) (41.2%) and is facing increasing competition from private labels and Dr. Pepper Snapple ( DPS) (15.4%) ... Comparatively, Frito-Lay has a 48.4% market share in the Snack Food Production industry, with Kraft and General Mills ( GIS) far behind with just 5.2% and 5.1% market share, respectively. "

Home appliances maker Electrolux agreed to acquire Chilean appliance maker CTI, according to Aug. 22 reports.

The deal was valued at 4.4 billion crowns ($686.5 million), Electrolux said on Aug. 22. Under the terms of the deal, Electrolux will purchase 64% of CTI shares owned by Sigdo Koppers and associated parties. It will also begin a cash tender offer to acquire 100% of all outstanding CTI shares at 34.87 Chilean pesos (7.4 cents) per share, plus another cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of CTI subsidiary Somela for 325 Chilean pesos (69 cents) per share.

CTI makes fridges, stoves, washing machines and heaters, and holds around 36% of the Chilean market share for home appliances, with a strong footprint in Argentina as well.

Sweden's Electrolux sees the acquisition as a way to help bolster its presence in emerging markets as sluggish demand persists in mature consumer markets.

"The company is not growing its earnings at a dramatic pace by these acquisitions, but price tags seem reasonable and the strategic importance should not be underestimated," noted analysts from Danske Markets.

Electrolux had also been in talks to acquire bankrupt South Korean company Daewoo but those negotiations ended. It did recently acquire Egyptian appliance maker Olympic Group.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group ( DTG) was growing impatient with its suitors.

The car rental holding company said Aug. 21 it sent a letter to Hertz Global ( HTZ) and Avis Budget ( CAR) asking them to submit their "best and final definitive proposals" on potential mergers by October.

Dollar Thrifty CEO Scott Thompson said that continuing uncertainty over a transaction was in "no one's best interest."

"Hertz and Avis have made substantial progress with respect to regulatory reviews, and our Board has concluded that the time has come to determine if, and on what terms, a transaction can be achieved," Thompson added.

Hertz and Avis have been locked in a drawn-out bidding war over Dollar Thrifty.

Brewer SABMiller took its hostile $10 billion bid for Australia's Foster's directly to shareholders, according to Aug. 17 reports.

SABMiller bid $A4.90 per share for Foster's in June, valuing Foster's at A$9.5 billion ($10 billion), but Foster's CEO John Pollaers deemed the offer too low to consider. SABMiller then took the same offer directly to shareholders. Rival bidders have not stepped forward -- though Molson Coors Brewing ( TAP) and Mexico's Grupo Modelo were reportedly in talks to make a joint bid for the target, according to June 3 reports -- and Foster's is considered by some analysts to have few other options.

"I don't think the offer on the table is fair value," Paul Xiradis, CEO at fund manager Ausbil Dexia, told Reuters. "Foster's is a prized asset with strong cash flow and at probably the low point of its earnings cycle. For an iconic business, that sort of an offer is undercooking it."

Charles Stanley analyst Sam Hart said, "It is unlikely that Foster's shareholders would accept an offer at A$4.90, but it could be the catalyst for the Foster's board to engage with SAB and agree a recommended offer of up to A$5.40."

Fosters' attractiveness stems from its high margins -- said to be around 37% for beer, nearly double that global competitors -- and 50% market share in Australia.

Should a deal go through between SABMiller and Foster's, it would be the biggest consolidation in the brewing industry since InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch ( BUD) for $52 billion in 2008. That deal marked the biggest cash takeover on record.

Kraft Foods ( KFT) said it would split into two separate companies, according to an Aug. 4 company statement, highlighting a trend that consumer foods and goods makers need to focus on higher-growth emerging markets as the outlook for expansion in developed markets remains sluggish..

Kraft said it would separate its snacks business and North American grocery business.

The snacks business, with estimated revenue of about $32 billion, will consist of the current Kraft Foods Europe and developing markets units as well as the North American snacks and confectionery businesses, the company said in a statement.

The North American grocery business would consist of the current U.S. beverages, cheese, convenient meals and grocery segments and the non-snack categories in Canada and food service.

The tax-free spinoff could be complete by the end of 2012.

"Given the different investment priorities and growth trajectories of the two businesses, it makes a lot of sense to separate them," Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard noted the day of Kraft's announcement. "The strategic rationale for such a move is strong." She said Kraft's split will aid CEO Irene Rosenfeld in expanding Kraft's footprint in emerging markets and take on new acquisitions, all while working to push the company's higher-margin U.S. grocery business forward.

On July 14 Ralcorp Holdings ( RAH) said it would spin off its Post Foods cereal unit, after twice rejecting unsolicited takeover bids from ConAgra Foods ( CAG).

By spinning off Post Foods, Ralcorp will concentrate on lower-priced non-branded foods while Post Foods will concentrate on braded cereals.

An unnamed source told Reuters that Ralcorp had already been considering the Post spinoff before being approached by ConAgra.

Under the spinoff, Post will issue between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion of debt with net cash proceeds of about $1 billion to Ralcorp.

Ralcorp acquired Post from Kraft Foods ( KFT) three years ago for $2.6 billion, including debt.

Sara Lee ( SLE) said it agreed to sell its refrigerated dough business to Ralcorp Holdings ( RAH) for $545 million, according to Aug. 9 reports.


Ralcorp said the acquisition would add 30 cents a share to its earnings in the first year after the sale is complete. It plans to fund the deal through short-term debt.

Ralcorp's purchase should help the private-brand food products maker improve its margins after it laid plans last month to spin off its Post Foods cereal unit. That announcement came on the heels of Ralcorp twice rejecting unsolicited takeover bids from ConAgra Foods ( CAG).

Sara Lee announced its intention to divest its refrigerated dough business earlier this year. The unit makes up about 3% of its annual revenue.

The sale comes as part of Sara Lee's larger plan to spin off its North American retail and food service business, a company that will trade publicly and retain the Sara Lee name. That business includes brands such as Hillshire Farm lunch meat, Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages. The other company, Sara Lee's remaining international bakery and beverages businesses, which includes Douwe Egberts and L'Or brands, was as yet unnamed but referred to as CoffeeCo and could be based overseas.

The split was announced in January, and in May, Sara Lee said it was on track with the split, expected to be complete in 2012.

Nestle's ( NSRGY) bid for Chinese confectioner and snacks maker Hsu Fu Chi International was under review, according to July 15 reports.

Nestle offered $1.7 billion for the company in an effort to expand in emerging Asian markets, and better compete with rival multinational companies like Danone ( DANOY) and Unilever ( UL).

If completed, the deal would represent one of the largest takeovers of a Chinese company by a foreign one.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry's anti-monopoly bureau was evaluating the bid, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Earlier this year Nestle acquired a 60% stake in China's Yinlu Foods Group for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition boosted its dairy business in the region.

On July 14 Ralcorp Holdings ( RAH) said it would spin off its Post Foods cereal unit, after twice rejecting unsolicited takeover bids from ConAgra Foods ( CAG).

By spinning off Post Foods, Ralcorp will concentrate on lower-priced non-branded foods while Post Foods will concentrate on braded cereals.

An unnamed source told Reuters that Ralcorp had already been considering the Post spinoff before being approached by ConAgra.

Under the spinoff, Post will issue between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion of debt with net cash proceeds of about $1 billion to Ralcorp.

Ralcorp acquired Post from Kraft Foods ( KFT) three years ago for $2.6 billion, including debt.

On June 20 Colgate-Palmolive ( CL) said it completed the acquisition of the Sanex personal care brand from Unilever ( UN) for €672 million ($958.9 million).

"We are excited to move forward on this strategically important acquisition that will strengthen Colgate's positions in the shower gel and deodorant categories in Europe and our overall personal care business in that region," Colgate CEO Ian Cook said.

According to TheStreet guest contributor Trefis, the deal, which was imminent given Colgate's health cash position, strengthens the company's personal care business in Europe with shower gels and deodorants marketed under the Sanex brand amounting to sales of more than $265 million in 2010. It also helps Colgate focus on the higher-margin personal care business amidst rising commodity costs affecting household care product segments. Colgate believes the transaction would increase earnings by 4% and improve margins by 1% by 2012.


The deal also included Colgate selling its laundry detergent business in Colombia to Unilever for $215 million.

The selloff of Unilever's deodorants and bath-care business in Europe was required on antitrust grounds for European Union's clearance of the $1.82 billion purchase of Sara Lee's ( SLE) personal care business in 2010.

On June 13, Wendy's Wendy's Arby's ( WEN) agreed to sell its struggling Arby's chain to private equity group Roark Capital Group in deal that valued the sandwich chain at $430 million.


The deal did not come as a surprise as Wendy's has said it was looking for strategic alternatives for Arby's, which has trailed Wendy's performance.

Under the terms of the deal, Wendy's will retain an 18.5% stake in Arby's, which has more than 3,600 restaurants systemwide. Wendy's will receive $130 million in cash at the closing of the deal; its 18.5% stake is expected to be valued at around $30 million.


Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group will assume around $190 million in debt related to the Arby's chain, which mainly consists of capital lease and sale-leaseback obligations.

Wendy's expects to realize an income tax benefit of around $80 million over the next few years.

The deal was expected to close early in the third quarter.

Molson Coors Brewing ( TAP) and Mexico's Grupo Modelo are reportedly in talks to make a joint bid for Foster's, according to June 3 reports, though other bidders may yet step forward for the Australian beer maker.

Foster's announced last year its intentions to divest its wine operations. The struggling business unit has been viewed as a deterrent to prospective buyers.

"It is 100% likely that they (Molson and Modelo) have been contemplating that kind of thing, but only in the sense that any major global brewer is always going to be looking at potential targets," Angus Gluskie, a portfolio manager at White Funds Management in Sydney, which holds Foster's shares, told the newswire. "But they have to make a decision on whether it is a good time or a bad time to act on it. There are a couple of strategic reasons why you may not do it and the Aussie dollar is probably the biggest of them."

Australian sources told Reuters that Foster's had not received a formal bid from Molson and Modelo.

Fosters' attractiveness stems from its high margins -- said to be around 37% for beer, nearly double that global competitors -- and 50% market share in Australia.

SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, could also be a likely bidder, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.

Both China's Tsingtao Brewery and Japan's Asahi Breweries have said they are not planning a bid for Foster's.

California Pizza Kitchen agreed to be sold to Golden Gate Capital for about $470 million, according to May 25 reports.

The deal valued California Pizza Kitchen at $18.50, a premium of nearly 11% compared with the California Pizza's closing price of $16.71 the day before news of the deal was reported.

California Pizza Kitchen, a casual-dining restaurant chain, operates around 250 stores in 32 states and a few foreign countries.

The pizza chain last spring hired an investment bank to explore a potential sale.

Hershey ( HSY)

Hershey ( HSY) could be a takeover target now that CEO David West left the confections maker to run Del Monte Foods, according to May 18 reports.

Operations chief John Bilbrey will replace West temporarily, and the board said it will "move quickly" to find a permanent CEO.


Citi analyst David Driscoll noted that West's exit from Hershey's masthead could make the company a prime takeover target, though he estimated the probability of a sale is only around 10%, up from his estimation of 2%.

Driscoll tapped Nestle ( NSRGY) or Kraft Foods ( KFT) as likely bidders who may view Hershey's executive changeup as "a good opportunity" to buy.

Deutsche Bank analyst Eric Katzman noted that executive changes come at an uncertain time for Hershey as the company faces soaring commodity prices for cocoa, sugar and milk -- headwinds that led it to cut costs.

Sara Lee ( SLE)

Sara Lee ( SLE) has been working to sell off its international bakery and North American refrigerated dough businesses.

It has already sold off a number of its business segments and Sara Lee said in January it would split itself into two separate companies following unsatisfactory takeover bids.


Sara Lee intends to spin off its North American retail and food service business, a company that will trade publicly and retain the Sara Lee name. That business includes brands such as Hillshire Farm lunch meat, Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages. The other company, Sara Lee's remaining international bakery and beverages businesses, which includes Douwe Egberts and L'Or brands, was as yet unnamed but referred to as CoffeeCo and could be based overseas.

On May 5, Sara Lee said it is on track with the split, expected to be complete in 2012.

On May 4, Sara Lee completed the sale of its global shoe-care business, in a majority of countries, to SC Johnson for 245 million euros ($364 million).

The sale of its North American fresh bakery business should close by the end of this fiscal year, Sara Lee said. Its insecticides business sale is expected to close in the second half of 2011.

Sara Lee also said it acquired Aidells Sausage for $87 million in cash during the recent quarter in an effort to boost its meat business in North America and expand its footprint into the market of organic and natural meats.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant ( MSSR)

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant ( MSSR) officially put itself up for sale in early May following a rejected takeover bid in April.

McCormick & Schmick's said it was considering a sale as one option for maximizing shareholder value.


In April, Landry's Restaurants founder and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta offered to acquire McCormick & Schmick's for $137.2 million, but the seafood restaurant chain rejected the unsolicited bid, saying it undervalued the company.

At the time, Fertitta said he would pay $9.25 per share for each McCormick & Schmick's share he did not already own, a 30% premium to the target's closing price of $7.12 the day before the offer was made.

Fertitta's offer was made though a unit of Landry's, which has been acquiring novelty restaurant brands such as Bubba Gump Shrimp, Oceanaire and Claim Jumper steakhouses. Landry's traded publicly until 2010 when Fertitta took it private for $1.4 billion.

Fertitta already owns a 10.1% stake in McCormick & Schmick's, making him the seafood chain's third-largest shareholder.

Diamond Foods ( DMND) and Procter & Gamble ( PG)

Diamond Foods ( DMND) picked up the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble ( PG) in early April for $1.5 billion worth of stock.

P&G's divestiture came as it looked to more closely focus its business on cosmetics and healthcare products.


P&G shareholders will retain a 57% stake in the new company while Diamond shareholders will hold the rest. Diamond shareholders will also take on $850 million of Pringles debt.

Diamond Foods, meanwhile, acquired Kettle Foods for $615 million in 2010. In 2008 it acquired Pop Secret from General Mills ( GIS) for $190 million, and in 2006 it acquired certain assets from Harmony Foods.

Diamond, best known for its Emerald brand of nuts and trail mixes, Pop Secret popcorns and Kettle potato chips, will more than triple the size of its snack business with the addition of Pringles. The company now expects net revenue to total $1.8 billion in the fiscal year ending July 31, 2012.

H.J. Heinz ( HNZ)

H.J. Heinz ( HNZ) acquired 80% of Coniexpress S.A. Industrias Alimenticias.

The Brazil-based manufacturer makes the Quero brand of tomato-based products, including sauces, tomato paste, ketchup, condiments and vegetables.

Heinz reported the acquisition in early March.

The Quero business has annual sales of around $325 million, and will help to expand Heinz's footprint in Latin America with its first major business in Brazil.

Heinz said in March that it expected the Quero acquisition to double its sales in Latin America within the first full year.

Emerging markets are expected to account for more than 20% of the company's total revenue in fiscal 2012, thanks in part to the Quero business as well as the addition of Foodstar, a soy sauce manufacturer in China it purchased in November 2010 to help grow its business in Asia.

Yum! Brands ( YUM)

Yum! Brands ( YUM) put its restaurant chains Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Restaurants up for sale as it pushed to expand in international markets.

On Jan. 18, Yum! said the divestments came as it narrowed its focus for long-term growth plans toward greater expansion in China and other international markets while concurrently growing sales at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC in the U.S.


Yum! said it was looking for a buyer for LJS and A&W but had yet to find one.

"We do not believe Long John Silver's and A&W-All American Food restaurants fit into our long-term growth strategy," CEO David C. Novak said. "Accordingly, we have decided to put these two great brands up for sale and we will complete the sale only once the right buyer or buyers have been identified and we can ensure a seamless transition."

Yum! added that it "does not expect the eventual sale to have a material impact to its ongoing earnings or cash flow."

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Miriam Reimer.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/miriamsmarket.

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