Unilever is preparing a £6bn sale of brands including Flora and Stork as part of its response to the ill-fated takeover bid from Kraft Heinz. One of the most likely bidders for the division would be Kraft Heinz, which has a track record of acquiring declining, once-loved brands. A sale would also attract the interest of buyout funds. A wide range of private equity titans, including Advent International and Carlyle, have been running the rule over the division for several years. (The Times £)

Speculation has mounted over the potential for a break-up of Unilever with some shareholders privately saying they would support moves to hive off its food brands, which include Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Knorr stock cubes (The Times £). Unilever is drawing up plans to offload its Flora and Stork spreads business to fend off another takeover approach (The Daily Mail)

Meanwhile, former City minister Lord Myners has weighed into the debate over the UK’s takeover regime, urging the government to toughen up the rules to protect prized companies from foreign bidders. Myners hit out at Theresa May for failing to step in to “protect prize assets”. Companies such as Unilever that employ thousands of people in the UK should be shielded from “opportunistic dealmakers” seeking a quick way to deliver short-term shareholder value (The Telegraph). Unilever is drawing up plans to heal a rift among amid a warning that Britain could become home to “a garage sale” unless there is protection for domestic companies from foreign takeovers (The Guardian).

Manufacturers are plotting to label everyday food items as having beneficial health properties. Lawyers and senior figures from the food industry are secretly working on a Brexit foods act, which would allow producers to make health claims that are not allowed under EU law. (The Times £)

Shares in Brazil’s major meatpackers dived on Friday as police launched a corruption probe into the industry, alleging that industry members had bribed officials to turn a blind eye to shipments of contaminated meat. São Paulo-based JBS, the world’s biggest protein company, was down 8.6% per while shares in BRF, the world’s largest poultry exporter, were down 8% amid allegations that some shipments from the two companies and other smaller operators were contaminated with the bacteria salmonella. (The Financial Times £)

The authorities in Brazil suspended 33 government officials amid allegations that some of the country’s biggest meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry for years. (The BBC)

Finsbury Food Group has already riffed on rising costs, which give the food industry three options: take a hit to margins, cut your own costs, or pass on the price rise to supermarkets. The last of these choices leaves retailers with a similar decision and increases the risk of price hikes being borne by the consumer. (The Guardian)

Last month’s vegetable shortage helped inflation climb above the Bank of England’s 2% target, official data will show this week, underscoring a growing chance of a rise in interest rates this year. (The Times £)

Bread rolls are the only manufactured foodstuff likely to meet stringent 2017 salt-reduction targets, research has revealed. The food industry will miss almost every salt target set to lower the amount of the “hidden killer” in processed food. (The Guardian)

Waitrose and Tesco are leading the way in taking on more small British suppliers, according to a new report. Buying British In 2017, by supply chain member organisation GS1 UK, said that of the major supermarkets, Tesco as Britain’s largest retailer, has afforded the most opportunities to GS1 UK’s new joiners over the past five years, trading with 33% of them. (The Daily Mail)

Former high street darling Next is expected to unveil its first fall in profits since the financial crisis this week, raising fresh fears about the strength of the company and challenges looming for wider retail sector (The Telegraph). t follows a ‘disastrous’ trading update at the start of the year in which chief executive Lord Wolfson pointed towards a slowdown on spending on clothes as shoppers chose to eat out and go to the cinema (The Daily Mail)

The Guardian has a Q&A with Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed on selling his smoothie brand to Coke, struggling to find investment and his worst moment in business. (The Guardian)

Marks and Spencer has become the latest big name company to pull its advertising from Google as the internet giant faces pressure over extremist content on its YouTube platform. (Sky News)

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