» NAMA Announces Its Industry Award Winners
The National Automatic Merchandising Association announced the five members who have earned the 2008 vending, coffee service and food service industry awards. They will be honored at the National Expo awards banquet Oct. 16, in St. Louis, Mo. They are:
- Industry Person of the Year — Greg Sidwell, NCE, president of G&J Marketing Co., Palm Harbor, Fla.
- Golden Coin Operator of the Year — Marcus (Marc) Whitener, CEO of Refreshment Solutions, Norco, La.
- Vending Allied Member of the Year — Paul Schindelar, NCE, vice president of sales, Vending/OCS Division for Kraft Foods, East Hanover, N.J.
- Coffee Silver Service Operator of the Year — Tom Steuber, president of Associated Services, San Leandro, Calif.
- Coffee Allied Member of the Year — Geoff Paul, president of Excelso Coffee and Tea Co., Norcross, Ga.
» Inc. Magazine Names Cantaloupe Systems To 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies List
Cantaloupe Systems, Inc., a provider of real-time machine monitoring and management solutions to the vending industry, has been recognized as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in America.
In its Sept. 1, 2008 edition, Inc. Magazine reported that its survey of private company revenue from 2004 to 2007 revealed that Cantaloupe Systems had a growth rate of 822 percent, placing it 361st among the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The survey also showed that Cantaloupe ranked 44th in the top 100 business service companies and 16th in the top 100 businesses in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. region.
» Refreshment Services Inc. Named A Top North Carolina Small Business
Refreshment Services Inc., a vending operation based in Charlotte, N.C., was recently named a Top 100 North Carolina Small Business by Business Leader Magazine, based in Charlotte, N.C.
» Pierre Foods Inc. Changes Its Vend Sales Organization
Pierre Foods Inc. has announced changes to its vend sales organization. The company, which historically relied on brokers, has established a direct sales force to serve its vending customers. The company continues to utilize G&J Marketing Co., based in Palm Harbor, Fla., as its Southeast broker sales force.
» Hershey Co. Mum On Merger Report
Hershey Co. officials would not comment on a report in The Reuters European news agency that Nestle SA was interested in buying all or part of Hershey. The reports came as news to Chocolate Workers Local 464, according to The Lebanon Daily News in Lebanon, Pa. Hershey Co. shares rose as much as 8.7 percent after a London newspaper reported the speculation.
» Mars Inc. To Acquire Wrigley
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. stockholders overwhelmingly approved the adoption of the merger agreement with Mars, Inc. Following the successful vote, both parties intend to complete the merger on Monday, Oct. 6, 2008.
Under the terms of the agreement — announced back on April 28, 2008 — Wrigley stockholders will receive $80 cash for each share of stock. Wrigley will become a subsidiary of privately held Mars, Inc., adding a number of brands to its portfolio, including Starburst(R) and Skittles(R), and remaining headquartered in Chicago. The combined strengths of Mars and Wrigley will create a dynamic $27-billion food company and the world’s leading confectioner.
» Mrs. Fields to seek bankruptcy protection
Mrs. Fields Famous Brands LLC, which serves fresh-baked cookies and TCBY frozen yogurt at more than 1,200 franchises across the country, is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to a regulatory filing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
» N&W Global Vending Secures Financing
Italian vending machine manufacturer N&W Global Vending has secured financing from a group of seven banks to support its sale by private equity firms Argan Capital and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, banking sources close to the deal reported, according to Reuters. N&W Global Vending machines are sold in the U.S.