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General Mills unveils restructuring plans

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to focus on its key growth strategies, General Mills has announced a productivity and cost savings plan that will include a reduction in its workforce.

The company said it will eliminate approximately 850 positions globally, as well as asset-related costs of approximately $13 million pre-tax associated with the write-down of selected production equipment. The total restructuring charges will be approximately $109 million pre-tax. Approximately $94 million of these restructuring costs will be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which ends on May 27, while the remaining costs will be recorded in fiscal 2013.

General Mills said it expects its adjusted diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2012 to be a range from $2.53 to $2.55.

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GoGo Squeez’s Pass the Play campaign supports Fresh Air Fund

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — GoGo Squeez announced the launch of a new campaign that will include a national mobile playground tour and the "largest game of catch."

The Pass the Play campaign is designed to support The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency that provides free summer experiences and year-round educational programs to New York City children from low-income communities, the company said. The campaign encourages consumers to get involved through one of the following ways:

  • Consumers can email [email protected] to request a "Pass the Play" ball and play the largest game of catch. GoGo Squeez said 10,000 kick balls are being distributed nationwide and top "play passers" will be entered to win fun prizes by tracking the kick balls at PassthePlay.com;

  • When consumers tweet #passtheplay, $1 will be donated to The Fresh Air Fund with the goal of raising $25,000, which will allow more inner-city boys and girls to participate in programs that can change the course of a child’s life; and

  • Consumers also can visit the Pass the Play mobile playground, which is visiting 10 cities across the country this summer, including Atlanta; Nashville; Bentonville, Ark.; Minneapolis; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco Readington, N.J.; and New York.

"GoGo Squeez believes in the power of play as an integral part of everyone’s daily routine — it doesn’t matter if you’re a child or an adult," Materne North America managing director Meena Mansharamani said. "The Pass the Play campaign celebrates the simple, imaginative fun of childhood to help families around the country experience the pure joy of play."

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Pringles, USO offer service men, women a ‘taste of home’

BY Allison Cerra

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Pringles has teamed up with the United Service Organizations this Memorial Day to honor the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

As part of its "Taste of Home" campaign, Pringles said it will support the USO by delivering than 43,000 free cans of Pringles to USO Centers, which will be distributed to troops deployed around the world in appreciation of their service. What’s more, specially wrapped Pringles cans will be sold at Walmart stores nationwide.

"This campaign is especially important to the USO for two reasons," USO SVP and chief development officer Kelli Seely said. "Not only does it provide our troops far from home and their loved ones with a taste of home, but also these Pringles have been made by people with a personal connection to our service men and women. It’s a true gift from the heart and there’s no better way to let our heroes know just how grateful we are for their service and sacrifice."

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