South Korea
Wal-Mart has become the second international grocer in the past month to exit South Korea. The US retail giant said that it was selling its portfolio of 16 stores in the country to South Korean retailer Shinsegae for $882m. Mike Duke, vice-chairman of Wal-Mart, said: "It has become increasingly clear that in South Korea&'s current environment it would be difficult for us to reach the scale we desired." Analysts said Wal-Mart had been struggling in South Korea and would not have been able to open enough stores to become one of the top three retailers. Last month French retailer Carrefour sold its 32 stores in the country to South Korean retailer E-Land for $1.85bn.

The Netherlands
Dutch supermarket group Ahold has reported an 8.6% increase in first-quarter net sales to E14.1bn (£9.64bn). It also said net sales in central Europe had increased by 37.4% to E558m (£381m). &"Market conditions remain competitive and, particularly in the US, energy costs continue to impact consumer behaviour,&" Ahold warned. Meanwhile, a Dutch court has sentenced former Ahold CEO Cees van der Hoeven and former chief financial officer Michiel Meurs to nine-month suspended jail terms and fines for their role in the firm&'s accounting scandal in 2003. Jan Andreae, a director formerly responsible for Europe, received a suspended term of four months.

United States
Tate & Lyle's US subsidiary Tate & Lyle Sucralose has filed a suit in the US against a Chinese manufacturer and six importers. The company believes that the importers and manufacturer have infringed patent rights for the manufacturing technology of Sucralose, which is used in its sweetener Splenda. Robert Gibber, general counsel for Tate & Lyle, said: "We have a robust estate of patents and will vigorously defend and enforce them."

Nestlé Australia has agreed to acquire the Uncle Tobys business in Australia, as well as the rights to the brand in New Zealand for A$890m (£356.7m). Uncle Tobys, which makes breakfast cereals, snacks and instant soups, had sales of A$400m (£160.3m) in 2005 and pre-tax profit of A$79m (£31.6m). Nestlé said that the acquisition would significantly improve its market position in Australia.

South Africa
Associated British Foods has announced a recommended offer to acquire 51% of Illovo Sugar, the largest cane sugar producer in Africa. ABF said that it would support Illovo's plans for capacity expansion and development in its African markets. George Weston, chief executive of ABF, said: "The combination of British Sugar and Illovo will create a powerful partnership in Africa and Europe."

United States
Supervalu has released its expected sales for 2007 if its acquisition of US number two grocery chain Albertons is agreed by shareholders next month. Supervalu said that it would expect total sales in 2007 to be as much as $38bn (£20.3bn), up from $19.9bn this year.