THE US venture capital firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which bought Hillsdown Holdings this year, has ruled out a bid for United Biscuits.
Hicks Muse, which owns the Peak Freans brand, was previously a hot favourite in the City to bid for UB, whose products include McVitie's, Penguin, Jaffa Cakes, KP, Skips and Phileas Fogg.
UB, which is expected to command a price tag of about $l.2 billion, admitted last week it had received an approach that might lead to an offer.
However, Hicks Muse's departure leaves just four serious bidders for some or all of UB.
They are two venture capitalists - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and CVC Capital Partners - as well as Nabisco, America's leading biscuits firm, and Danone, the French food group that owns Jacob's cream crackers and HP sauce. (S.T.)
17. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: My father, digging, I look down.
Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up twenty years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was digging.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
My God, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man. (S.H.)
PREPARING A BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan is essential to the start-up, growth and modification of any business whether it be a small private farm or a large state farm or an agricultural processing facility. The business plan specifically defines the business. It identifies and clarifies goals and provides the direction for their achievement.
A well developed plan will serve three primary functions. First, it will act as a feasibility study. Writing the plan forces the business owner or director to translate ideas into black and white allowing substantiation and evaluation of the assumptions upon which the plan is based. It helps to determine the need for, and proper allocation of resources and, by allowing the owner to look for weak spots and vulnerabilities, helps reduce the risk of unforeseen complications.
Second, the plan will serve as a management tool. It provides a guide for implementation and standards against which to evaluate performance. Properly utilised, it can help alert the owner/manager to potential problems before they become detrimental, and potential opportunities before they are missed.
Third, the plan is the tool for obtaining financing for the business. Whether seeking bank financing, private domestic or foreign investors, government financing or venture capital, a detailed, well-drafted plan is necessary. (Wt.)
I have discussed the issue of using funds allocated for wages, transportation, technical assistance, and other expenditures in the KNO Project for larger capital purchases for the four cooperatives with you and Ken Boyle and I am seeking formal approval to do this. I have also discussed this idea with the boards of the four cooperatives and they have agreed that this would be a better way to use the funds in the budget.
Artsis is working on a deal with Monsanto for no-till planting equipment. I agreed to make the down payment for that deal, which is $10,000.00. We have been working on this for a long time (it seems like forever) with CNFA and Monsanto. The payment has already been made to Monsanto.
I have already purchased seed treating equipment and two tractors for Ivanov Coop. They got the equipment from bankrupt collectives and got a very good deal on all of it. The seed treating equipment was still in crates and was purchased from Germany two years ago for $27,000.00. We got it all for $7,000.00. The Ivanov Coop will specialize in hailing, storing and selling seed. They got the two tractors from a bankrupt collective in Ivanovka for $3,000.00 and will provide a plowing service for their members this year.