Bid to sell top food firm fails

Updated 29 May 2016
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Bid to sell top food firm fails

KUWAIT CITY: A bid by a group of Gulf investors to purchase a majority stake of Kuwait’s top food company and a regional leader, Americana, has failed, an official statement said.
“No final agreement has been reached,” said Al-Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate, which manages billions of dollars of stocks held by the Kharafi family, which wanted to sell its 69-percent stake in Americana.
“The two sides have agreed to end negotiations of the planned sale,” Al-Khair said in a statement sent to the Kuwait Stock Exchange.
The consortium carried out a due diligence investigation before making an offer that was never disclosed.
It was the Kharafi family’s second failed attempt to sell Americana after Saudi-based food company Savola reportedly offered around $4 billion to acquire the firm last year. That offer was rejected.
Established in 1964, Americana, or Kuwait Food Company, is the parent group that brought to the Middle East more than a dozen major food brands like KFC, Costa Coffee and TGI Friday’s.
It owns more than 1,690 outlets and employs 63,000 workers in the Middle East and North Africa region. It also has 17 factories in the region and abroad and produces a variety of food products.


EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

Updated 19 April 2018
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EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

  • Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
  • The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”

Luxembourg: The European Union’s top court should cancel Swiss food giant Nestle’s trademark for the shape of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, the court’s top adviser said Thursday.
Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”
Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should dismiss an appeal by Nestle against a lower court’s 2016 decision to annul the trademark.
“Nestle did not adduce sufficient evidence to show that its trademark had acquired distinctive character,” Wathelet said.
He said the intellectual property office should now “re-examine” its decision.
The Luxembourg-based ECJ often, but not always, follows the advice of the advocate general, its senior legal adviser, when making its final judgment.
The food giant specifically failed to show that the Kit Kat shape was well enough known in Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, relying instead on market data from other countries, he said.
The official also said the EU court should reject an appeal by Mondelez against part of the judgment, saying it was “manifestly inadmissible.”
Nestle has already lost a legal bid in Britain — currently an EU member state but set to leave next year — to trademark the Kit Kat shape.