Johannesson cleared... takeover approved... ABF stake in illovo... Safeway reviews partnership... carrefour stores eyed... origin guide

Baugur chief Jon Asgeir Johannesson and his co-defendants have been cleared of the eight remaining fraud charges against them. The outstanding charges were among 40 originally levelled against Baugur executives, 32 of which were dismissed by the Icelandic courts last year.

Takeover cleared
The US Federal Trade Commission has cleared the $9.7bn takeover of US number two grocery chain Albertsons by an investment group led by US supermarket chain Supervalu. The deal is subject to approval from Albertsons and Supervalu shareholders and should be completed by the summer.

Stake in sugar
Associated British Foods has revealed that it is in discussions with African sugar company Illovo Sugar about a possible transaction. ABF said the transaction could involve it acquiring a 51% stake in Illovo Sugar, but there was no certainty that the discussions would lead to an offer.

Online review
California-based US grocery chain Safeway is reviewing its online retailing partnership with Tesco following Tesco's decision to open convenience-format stores on the US West Coast next year. Safeway currently operates an online home delivery scheme called GroceryWorks in partnership with Tesco.

French connection
Tesco and Wal-Mart have both expressed interest in acquiring stores from French retailer Carrefour in South Korea if they are put up for sale. Speculation is rife that Carrefour Korea could be planning to sell a number of its stores in the country. Tesco said that it had "interest in the outlets", while Wal-Mart said that it was exploring growth opportunities in the country and would be interested in acquiring the stores.

Origin rules ok?
The Australian government has launched a guide to help the food industry understand new country of origin labelling rules which will come into force later this year. From June 8, all unpacked fresh and processed fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood sold in Australia must display where they have come from. The guide, Country of Origin Labelling of Food, is designed to help processors and retailers meet the requirements.