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Cargill acquires two of Carneco’s meat processing facilities

BY Jenna Duncan

COLUMBUS, Ohio Cargill Value Added Meats, part of Cargill Inc., has said that it will complete its acquisition of Carneco Foods by January. The companies announced that they had come to terms on a purchase agreement Thursday for Cargill to buy two of Carneco’s processing plants, reports said.

Cargill Value Added Meats was searching for a new operating plant after it lost its Booneville, Ark., facility to a fire March 23. by fire on Easter Sunday. Cargill Value Added Meats president, John O’Carroll, told the press that Cargill was approached by Lopez Foods, the owner of Carneco, and Lopoez offered to sell its two facilities. O’Carroll also said that originally Cargill has planned to open a new plant in Texas.

Carneco is the maker of beef chubs, frozen beef patties and pre-packaged fresh ground beef.

Details of the buyout are said to be finalized on or around Jan. 2, 2009.

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Kraft taps Clarke, former Coca-Cola exec, to head European operations

BY Jenna Duncan

ZURICH, Switzerland Kraft Foods has names Michael Clarke to leads its European division as president, reports said Monday.

Clarke has served as an executive for Coca-Cola Co. for more than a decade. His most recent title was president of the Coca-Cola Northwest Europe, Nordics business unit.

At Kraft, Clarke will oversee the Kraft Europe operation and report to Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft chairman and chief executive officer. The position of president has been vacant since this summer.

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Hy-Vee adds to its pharmacy reach with purchase of two independents

BY Jim Frederick

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa Supermarket and pharmacy retailer Hy-Vee Inc. has purchased two more independently owned pharmacies in its home state.

The deals include the buyout of a Medicap Pharmacy in Clarinda, Iowa and Boyes Pharmacy, an independent located in Faribault, Iowa. Terms were not disclosed.

The inventory and prescription files in Faribault were moved Monday to the Hy-Vee combination food-drug store in that town, but Hy-Vee said it would continue to operate the Medicap in Clarinda as a stand-alone satellite pharmacy of its nearby Hy-Vee unit, beginning Jan. 12, 2009.

In line with that decision, the chain revealed plans to remodel its Clarinda supermarket and add a pharmacy department to the store. When the renovation is complete, Hy-Vee said it will close the satellite drug store and move those script files to its remodeled combo store.

Plans for the Clarinda model are “still in the drawing stage,” Hy-Vee announced, adding “a construction timetable has not been established yet.”

The owners of both independent drug stores indicated that the dismal economic climate played a big role in their decision to sell. “It’s in the best interest of our patients and staff to be part of an organization as stable as Hy-Vee so that the pharmacy business can remain strong in Clarinda well into the future,” said Medicap owner Steve Mowery. He added that “small town pharmacies are very vulnerable in these shifting economic times.”

Hy-Vee, for its part, appears to be riding out the stormy economy by scooping up some weaker drug store competitors. The chain now operates 224 supermarkets, food-drug combo stores and stand-alone pharmacies in seven Midwestern states, including a total of some 200 pharmacies.

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