Kellogg purchases Kraft fruit-snack lines
Kraft Foods last week said it plans to sell its roughly $80 million-a-year fruit snacks business to Kellogg Co. for $30 million. The fire sale, part of Kraft's efforts to divest non-core businesses, is expected to be a boon for Kellogg, which just in late 2003 entered the nearly $600 million category with its own Twistables and the Walt Disney Co. license it wrangled away from category leader General Mills. In addition to acquiring Kraft's manufacturing facility, Kellogg will gain the rights to Kraft's Nickelodeon licenses such as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants that Kraft marketed under the Nabisco brand.
Estee Lauder strikes deal with designer Tom Ford
Estee Lauder Cos. signed an alliance with fashion designer Tom Ford to create both an exclusive line of fragrances and related products for the Lauder brand as well as a stand-alone beauty brand. The partnership with the former creative director of Gucci marks the first time the Estee Lauder brand has collaborated with an outside fashion designer, a measure that is being taken to "chart a new course," said John Demsey, global brand president, Estee Lauder. Mr. Ford, who departed abruptly from Gucci Group after it sale last year, has been credited with driving sales of the fashion house from $230 million to almost $3 billion during his tenure. Estee Lauder will launch a limited range of Tom Ford products in specialty stores for the holiday season, followed by a more extensive collection for broader distribution for spring 2006. The second phase will feature a beauty brand to create and market fragrances and other related products. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq48c
XM pairs with AOL to offer streaming radio
XM Satellite Radio partnered with America Online's streaming AOL Radio service last week. AOL Radio is the Web's second-most-popular online radio site, after Yahoo's Launchcast, drawing a cumulative audience of nearly 2 million listeners a week, according to Arbitron and ComScore Media Metrix, which introduced an Internet-radio measuring service in January. The XM-AOL deal comes on the heels of an announcement by radio giant Clear Channel that it will expand and enhance its own online operations with video streams of live music performances and a national streaming platform for its various stations. Industry observers expect rival Sirius Satellite Radio to soon follow with its own online partnership. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq48a
Havas looks to add members to its board
Less than two months before a highly anticipated annual board and shareholders' meeting June 9, Havas announced it is proposing the addition of three directors to its board in an effort to adhere to corporate governance best practices. If approved, the board will increase to 16 directors from 13. Havas management also proposes that the soon-to-expire terms of three current board members be renewed. Tensions between Havas' largest shareholder, corporate raider Vincent Bollore, have heightened in recent months as Havas management has pressed for details on Mr. Bollore's intentions before acquiescing to his requests for several seats on Havas' board as well as the adoption of a new oversight committee. Mr. Bollore has not responded to those inquiries, according to Havas. His requests are expected to be considered at the June meeting. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq48k