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Del Monte sells its seafood business to Korean food company

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN FRANCISCO Del Monte Foods Company Tuesday announced that it has completed the sale of its seafood business, including popular canned tuna brand StarKist, to Dongwon Industries for nearly $359 million. The total buyout price including considerations for the business’ estimate of working capital which had not yet been totaled and finalized.

“The divestiture of StarKist improves Del Monte’s margin structure, eliminates a source of earnings volatility and reduces debt leverage,” Rick Wolford, chairman and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods said. “This sale also increases Del Monte’s focus on faster growing, value-added, higher margin branded businesses, a key component of our accelerated growth plan.”

Included in the sale of Del Monte’s seafood business are manufacturing operations in American Samoa and Manta, Ecuador. Also rolled into the sale, StarKist seafood assets in Terminal Island, California and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Del Monte has said that its seafood business plant personnel have now joined Dongwon, as well.

Dongwon Industries has most of its business in fishing—about 28 percent of its Korean market comes from fish suppliers. More information about the company can be viewed at www.dwml.co.kr.

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U.S. shoppers pulling way back on spending

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK The financial crisis is not just hitting Wall Street hard, it is greatly impacting the way Americans spend their money on everyday shopping trips, The New York Times today reported.

According to figures released from corporations, as well as interviews, Americans are spending less on dining out, automobile sales, airfare and other non-essentials. Reports have said that for the first time in about 20 years total sales for the third quarter 2008 will not show growth, but instead a drop by about 3 percent, and a “consumer-driven recession” could be just around the quarter.

Reports have said that consumer spending, which comprises about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, grew overall for the year, but dropped in July and August. The Times reported that as Americans see savings for things like retirement and vacations dwindling, they have lost their buying confidence and spending has become more conservative nationwide.

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Brookshire Grocery announces launch of Fresh store

BY Michael Johnsen

TYLER, Texas Brookshire Grocery on Thursday announced it will break ground in January on a new concept store called Fresh, according to a local daily.

The new store concept, which will anchor a strip center at the Ridge at Oak Hills, is expected to be open by the end of next year. Details as to what services would be available at the new store concept were not available.

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