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Ackman considers I.P.O. for new fund

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A Thursday report in the New York Times said that activist investor William A. Ackman is pondering whether or not to raise capital for a new fund through an initial public offering.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Times said that the head of Pershing Square Capital Management is planning to raise billions of dollars for a closed-end fund that would be listed on an exchange, but that the firm itself would not go public.

Ackman has been quoted as saying that a more stable capital base would allow him to invest more freely, without the worry that money could be withdrawn during times of distress and allowing him to produce greater returns.

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Physicians Formula to launch exclusive line at Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

AZUSA, Calif. — Physicians Formula confirmed that its newly developed skin care line will be carried exclusively in about 2,500 Walmart stores this summer.

The company said that the cosmeceutical skin care line, which will contain 14 SKUs, will begin shipping to Walmart this month and officially will hit store shelves in August. Physicians Formula also said the line potentially could be offered to other retailers by 2012. The line includes three regimens focused on the most common skin concerns, including aging, moisture balance and sensitivity and redness.

"We are very proud and excited to have been chosen by Walmart to partner with them in developing these best-in-class products," Physicians Formula chairman and CEO Ingrid Jackel said. "The launch of the Physicians Formula cosmeceutical skin care line represents another in a long line of first-to-market innovations for our company, as we continue our mission of bringing new beauty technologies and approaches to the marketplace. It also creates new financial opportunities and risk diversification for us."

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Retail and CPG group concludes confab is Spain

BY CSA STAFF

A coalition of major retailers and CPG companies known as the Consumer Goods Forum met in Spain this week where they agreed on a series of common-sense resolutions related to health and wellness. The group, which includes Walmart, adopted resolutions covering the following areas:

  • Access and availability of products and services that support the goal of healthier diets and lifestyles.
  • Transparent fact based information to help consumers make informed product choices and usages.
  • Communication and educational programs to help raise consumer awareness on health and wellness.

According to the Consumer Goods Forum, implementing the resolutions will be carried out by a diverse working group of industry CEOs and chairmen, as well as expert stakeholders from outside the industry. The working group is led by Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé Group and Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold.

“We believe that manufacturers and retailers have a key role to play in improving the health and wellness of consumers,” said Bulcke. “Working together and partnering with stakeholders such as public health authorities and healthcare professionals, will help our industry accelerate its collaborative effort and assure a positive impact on health and wellness in particular and on society at large.”

The team of Forum member companies charged with delivering the health and wellness resolutions is co-chaired by Nestlé and Ahold, and includes Aeon, Barilla, Carrefour, The Coca-Cola Company, Delhaize, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Johnson & Johnson, Kao, Kellogg, Kraft, L’Oréal, Metro, Pepsi Co, Procter & Gamble, Sobeys, Tesco, Unilever and Walmart.

“Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever and their expectations are changing. As an industry, we need to be out ahead of these changes and aligned behind one voice,” said Forum co-chair Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

About The Consumer Goods ForumThe Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 650 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries and reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.1 trillion and their retailer and manufacturer members employ over 9.1 million people.

The Forum was created in June 2009 by the merger of CIES – The Food Business Forum, the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) and the Global CEO Forum and today includes 650 retailers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

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