Date; Buyer; Seller; Type of deal; Description of target/deal; Deal value (£m); Turnover of business changing hands (£m) Jan 01; Nestlé (Switz); Ralston Purina (US); Acquisition (billed as merger); Produces dog and cat foods, with particular strength in dry foods, as well as pet litter. Ralston Purina's shareholders due to vote in May. Companies hope to complete by end of 2001. ;7,000 ; 1,905 Jan 01; Campbell Soup Co (US); Unilever ; Disposal; Dry soup and sauces businesses in Europe ­ brands sold include Batchelors, Heise Tasse, Oxo and Lesieur. Approval received from EU in April 2001. ;633 ; 275 Jan 01; Friesland Coberco Dairy Foods (Neth) ; Royal Numico (Neth) ; Acquisition ; Nutricia Drinks & Dairy Group ­ brands include Chocomel/Cécémel, Fristi, Nutroma and Extran in Benelux, Drinkfit in Germany and Pöttyös Túró Rúdi Hungary. Friesland is a Dutch dairy; 421 ; 254 Jan 01; Perfetti (Italy) ; Van Melle (Neth) ; Merger ; Chewing gum and confectionery ­ brands include Mentos, Frutella and Airheads. Perfetti is taking full control of VanMelle, offering 55 euros a share for the 63% of the company which it did not already own.; 393 (for 63% ) ; 273 Mar 01; Vin & Spritcentralen (Swe); Future Brands (US); Joint venture ; Joint venture between Vin & Spritcentralen and Jim Beam Brands. Vin & Spritcentralen is paying $270m for a 49% share of the new joint venture, which will distribute V&S's Absolut vodka brand in the US alongside the Jim Beam brands V&S is also paying $375m for a 10% stake in Jim Beam Brands Worldwide. The enlarged portfolio had combined US sales volume of c. 20 million cases in 2000.; 189 ; na Feb 01; Lowclose (UK); Perkins Foods (UK) ; Public-to-private ; Manufacturer of own label chilled and frozen convenience foods. Lowclose is a buy-out vehicle backed by ABN Amro Capital. Deal first announced in 12/00. ;185 ; 303 Jan 01; DGF Stoess (Germ); Goodman Fielder (Australia) ; Disposal ; Sale of Leiner Davis gelatin business. DGF Stoess sells gelatin under the Gelita brand and claims the acquisition will give it 30% of the global market. 117 ; na Feb 01 ; Pernod Ricard (France) ; Agros Holding (Poland) ; Completion of takeover; Manufactures and distributes brands such as Fortuna fruit juices, Lowicz jams and Krakus canned fruit and vegetables, plus export of branded vodkas. Pernod-Ricard announced intention to purchase remaining 63% of Agros Holding. ;49 (for 63%); 175 {{FEAT. GENERAL }}