2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand take over

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger Could Spell Big Problems for Netflix, Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2014 12:07 PM

Following a failed takeover bid by Charter Communications, Comcast announced it would acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for $45.2 billion. If the merger is approved by regulators, Comcast will return to its top spot as the largest cable operator in the world. 

The merger, which could send waves through various television networks, national sports markets, TV technology and streaming companies is already a cause for concern among consumers and other pay TV companies, including satellite television networks, as well as AT&T, Verizon and Google, all of whom have made inroads into the cable and internet-providing business. 

At about $159 per share, Comcast stands to adopt Time Warner Cable's 11 million pay TV customers, highly concentrated in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where it owns two sports networks and has lucrative deals with local sports teams. As part of the deal though, Comcast said it will divest about 3 million of TWC's customers to appease regulators. 

As far as Comcast is concered, gaining regulatory approval from the federal government, including the FCC, shouldn't be too hard since Comcast and TWC aren't actually direct competitors (as far as carved-up cable provider boundaries go). The approval would follow Comcast's nearly $17 billion buyout of NBCUniversal from GE last year.Continue reading...

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Caribou Coffee is Closing Some Stores, Rebranding Others as Peet's

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2013 12:46 PM

After 21 years in business, Caribou Coffee is suddenly facing some very grownup decisions.

America's second-largest coffee chain announced that, as of April 14, it will be closing 80 of its locations and rebranding 88 outposts as Peet's Coffee & Tea over the next 18 months, according to a statement from President and CEO Mike Tattersfield.Continue reading...

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Google Returns Frommer’s Back to its Rightful Owner

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 04:32 PM

Google has sold the rights to the eponymous Frommer's travel guidebook series… to Arthur Frommer, the creator of the brand. Frommer initially sold his rights to Simon & Schuster in 1977, and several brand changes later, Google snapped it up in 2012 amidst speculation that the search giant might fold it into Zagat, which they bought in 2011, with aspirations of owning the SEO on geo-location-travel.

Travel website Skift broke the news that Google would stop publishing print editions of several Frommer's series just seven months after it acquired Frommer’s from John Wiley & Sons for a rumored price of $25 million, however the sale of the naming rights will now allow Arthur Frommer to continue to publish print guide books and content on Frommers.com. 

A Google spokesperson told Skift, “We’re focused on providing high-quality local information to help people quickly discover and share great places, like a nearby restaurant or the perfect vacation destination. That’s why we’ve spent the last several months integrating the travel content we acquired from Wiley into Google+ Local and our other Google services. We can confirm that we have returned the Frommer’s brand to its founder and are licensing certain travel content to him.”Continue reading...

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Long Live Twinkies: Snack Brand Bought Up by Private Equity Firm (UPDATED)

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 12, 2013 05:08 PM

The world has been restored to its rightful order, folks. The snack-cake division of Hostess has accepted a buyer bid from Apollo Global Management Group and Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million. 

Hostess was to conduct an auction later this week for snack brands including Twinkies, CupCakes, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, however no competing bids were received by the deadline. Apollo, in partnership with veteran food executive Dean Metropoulos, has reportedly said that they are aiming to have the snack cakes back on shelves by summer, according to the Chicago Tribune.Continue reading...

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Wonder Bread Finds a New Home at Flowers Foods

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2013 12:45 PM

Some folks pay a couple of bucks for a loaf of bread. Some folks pay $360 million. 

That’s how much Flower Foods is shelling out to take over the baking privileges of Wonder Bread, which has been on the block since Hostess declared bankruptcy last year.

As part of the deal, Flowers will also pick up Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature’s Pride bread lines since there were no other bidders involved, Reuters reports. The plan had been to auction off the properties Thursday but no other interested parties stepped up.

According to Hostess' numbers, the six different bread brands brought in $1 billion in sales last year and Wonder was responsible for around half of that, the New York Post reports. That would be a sweet addition to the $3 billion Flower Foods already reportedly brings in.

Hostess’s Beefsteak bread line, on the other hand, does have at least two parties interested. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, the makers of Entenmann's, Sara Lee and Thomas', has bid $1 million more than the $30 million Flowers has offered for the line, so an auction will take place. Continue reading...

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Buffett Adds Heinz to Stable of Brands in $23 Billion Deal (With Help From Brazil)

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2013 01:01 PM

Warren Buffett may finally have met a deal that satisfies his appetite. In agreeing to buy H.J. Heinz Co. in partnership with 3G Capital for $23 billion (or $28 billion including debt assumption), the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has acquired a stable of globally popular brands owned by a staunchly resilient company in an economically dependable business.

In fact, the famed Oracle of Omaha told CNBC this morning, he has been ogling Heinz since 1980. "This is my kind of deal and my kind of partner," he said. "Heinz is our kind of company with fantastic brands."

Those brands include not only Heinz ketchup, the "bread and butter" of the portfolio of the Pittsburgh-based CPG giant, but also Ore-Ida, Lea & Perrins sauces, and Classico pasta sauces. Heinz products are sold in more than 200 countries.

Even more important to Buffett, Heinz and its brands have been great performers in a tough industry even during the Great Recession, and over the last 12 months its stock already has risen nearly 17 percent. Berkshire and 3G agreed to pay $72.50 a share, about 20 percent above Heinz's closing price on Wednesday. On Thursday, the stock climbed about to about the acquisition price.Continue reading...

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Critics Wince as Weather Channel Pumps Up 'Nemo' — and Anticipates 'Orko'

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2013 03:54 PM

In naming storms other than hurricanes, The Weather Channel may have created an irresistible juggernaut, much like one of those giant Nor'easters to which the TV channel has been attaching monikers for several months now.

Even General Motors' OnStar service joined some large media outlets like The New York Post (right) in using the name "Nemo" for Friday's storm, reminding customers that its advisors were poised to assist subscribers who ran into weather-related emergencies during "Winter Storm Nemo." New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg started calling the storm "Nemo," too.

Such lurches down slippery slopes have added to the apparent critical mass behind The Weather Channel's efforts to institutionalize the Greek and Roman names that it selected for a handful of giant storms over the last several months. Channel executives assert that having a storm handle available makes it much easier for weather authorities and the general public to glean the best information and take appropriate cautions before and during a storm.Continue reading...

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Foster's Shareholders Approve SABMiller Takeover

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 1, 2011 02:32 PM

Foster's Group shareholders at a meeting in Melbourne today approved the A$11 billion takeover bid from British brewing giant SABMiller, which argued that it's a great price for investors — but not everyone was satisfied with the transaction, as Australia's ABC reports, above.

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