Ferrero to acquire Nestle US


File image: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – Italian luxury chocolate brand, Ferrero, announced plans to acquire Nestle which will make the luxury brand the third largest player in the industry in the US.

According to Euromonitor, a market research provider, this deal would make Ferrero the third largest player in the chocolate confectionary in the US. According to data on the company shares of chocolate confectionery in the US, Ferrero currently ranks as the fifth largest player who controls just 3% of the industry.

Meanwhile, the industry is dominated by the Hershey group with 31.5% followed by Mars Inc with 27.1%, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG in 9.3% and Nestlé SA with 7.9%.

Nestle however performed well and in line with its rivals over the years with a 3.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), says Euromonitor.

READ ALSO: Nestle to pay $425 million to buy Blue Bottle Coffee

“Nestlé’s most prominent chocolate confectionery brand in the US, Butterfinger, has suffered in against brands with a more premium positioning including Lindt and against larger players such as Mars. Although private equity companies have shown interest, it is likely that Ferrero would be willing to pay a higher price premium in order to achieve its strategic goal of boosting its presence in the US. A successful transaction would make Ferrero the third largest player in chocolate confectionery in the US. As Hershey recently made a large acquisition outside chocolate confectionery to diversify into other type of snacks, by buying the Skinny Pop popcorn brand, it is also less likely than Ferrero to be willing to engage in a bidding war. However, as Nestlé’s brands are not positioned as premium as Ferrero’s brands, their turnaround and a successful integration into Ferrero’s brand portfolio would be uncertain”, says Raphael Moreau, senior food and nutrition analyst at Euromonitor.

The last acquisition saw the chocolate confectionery offered to buy British chocolate company, Thorntons for R2.2 billion just three years ago in 2015.

This marked the first move by the maker of Ferrero Rocher pralines, since the death of its founder, Michele Ferrero earlier that year.

According to reports, shares in Thorntons rose as much as 42.9 % after the announcement.

At the time, Ferrero already owned 29.9% of Thorntons after buying stakes from top shareholder Crystal Amber and former chairman John von Spreckelsen, as well as part of the holding of Hotchkis & Wiley.

READ ALSO: Ferrero eyes UK chocolate firm

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The Don Diego Trio Direct from Palermo, Sicily – Feb. 10th Blues City Deli

Ameripolitan Award Nominee’s The Dom Diego Trio stop by for a Thursday Night House Party performance at Blues City Deli.

Dom Diego Trio is a Rockabilly/Western Swing band from Palermo Sicily!They’re on their USA midwest tour, and we’re honored to have them. You’re sure to have a great time with lots of dancin’ guaranteed!!

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Lollobrigida to claim star on Walk of Fame

Italy screen icon to unveil it on Feb 1

(ANSA) – Lose Angeles, January 11 – Italian screen icon Gina Lollobrigida will unveil her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on February 1, when she will receive the Filming on Italy Award, sources said Thursday.
News of the Walk of Fame star came on her 90th birthday on July 4.
Lollobrigida, better known to Italians as ‘La Lollo’, long vied with fellow Italian bombshell Sophia Loren and French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot for the title of the world’s sexiest woman.
In 1955 she starred in a film called La Donna Piu Bella del Mondo (The World’s Most Beautiful Woman), which became her signature movie.
The daughter of a furniture manufacturer from a mountain village outside Rome, she has made over 60 films including some during the 1990s.
Since retiring from cinema Lollobrigida has tried her hand as a photographer, sculptor, photojournalist and a fashion and cosmetics executive.
The diva was divorced in 1971 after a 22-year marriage to a Yugoslav doctor, by whom she had a son.

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Orlando Family Foundation Annual Gala January 27, 2018

San and Jan Orlando









The Orlando Family Foundation Annual Gala will be held on January 27, 2018.

After a party my family planned for me in
January of 1999, marking my 60th birthday,
I announced to my guests, “This has been
such a terrific party, let’s do it again next year!
However, next year you will pay to attend
the party and we will donate the proceeds to charity!”!
The invitation was received with thunderous applause, marking the inception of the
Orlando Family Foundation for Charities.

at Orlando Gardens located at
4300 Hoffmeister Ave.
View our invitation HERE!

Any 501(c)3 charity can be represented through the purchase of a table at the dinner auction. The cost per table of 8 is $1,600. Individuals may also attend at a cost of $200 per person. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. For every table purchased representing an eligible charity, an entry into the drawing is awarded. Following the auction, two drawings will take place and the charities chosen will receive the proceeds.

My dream was to have an evening of fun, friends and wonderful food to support the charities of St. Louis. Help us make my dream and the dreams of many others come true. Invite a group of your friends and enjoy a fabulous evening.


Sam Orlando Sr.

This year you can participate in the Orlando Family Foundation Auction ONLINE thanks to our friends at Gesture!

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Italian Film and Director Michael DiLauro Coming to St Louis Feb 2nd and 3rd

Film: LaMia Strada

Ciao St Louis and Webster University invites you to the showing of  La Mia Strada –My Road, the poignant documentary by 5-time EMMY award-winning Director Michael Angelo DiLauro

Friday, February 2nd at 4:00 pm
Saturday, February 3rd at 6:00 pm

Tickets: Free

ISB Browning Hall
Room 160/Auditorium
470 E Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves MO 63119
Parking: Garden Ave Garage 

The Director Mr DiLauro will be at both showings to discuss the film and answer questions.

La Mia Strada (My Road) is a compelling exploration of ethnicity and culture, linking ancient and modern Italian life with its Italian-American counterpart. DiLauro uses the historic shepherd trails (tratturi) as both reality and metaphor for the transmission of culture and identity. We are invited along a journey of discovery, examining the ways in which family and tradition strive to maintain a fragile bond across generations and continents despite the demands of an ever-changing world.

Over a period of years, DiLauro immersed himself in the music, poetry, and oral histories of Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia, three regions of Italy connected by the path of the shepherd. He conducted dozens of oral histories, sifted through family photographs, explored historical sites, and sifted through archaeological artifacts, yielding a story linking both the ancient and contemporary history of families divided by an ocean, yet united by familial and ethnic bonds. DisCanto, an Italian folk music group produced the soundtrack for the documentary.

La Mia Strada was screened at the Palestrina Film Festival in Italy, Atlantic City Film Festival and was awarded a Silver Medal from the Media Communications Association-International Film Festival along with several cultural centers and universities throughout the United States. In November 2013 the documentary kicked off the Chicago Catholic Immigrant Conference and the “Faith in Film Series”, sponsored by Loyola University, Casa Italia and Italian Cultural Institute Chicago.

This is not DiLauro’s first foray into ethnic identity. A previous documentary, Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival. This was due in part, with the generous support of the da Vinci Society of Delaware, Order Sons of Italy in America, National Italian American Foundation, UNICO and the Pennsylvania Public Television Network.
A celebrated director and producer of documentaries, television programs, commercials, and corporate productions, Michael DiLauro has earned five regional Emmy’s, a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, several ADDY awards and the Gabriel award for outstanding television programming.
Currently, DiLauro serves as the Director of the Academic Media Center and Associate Professor at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Donatella Versace says won’t be watching US TV series on brother’s murder

Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace arrives for the Franca Sozzani Award ceremony at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice September 1, 2017. — Reuters picItalian fashion designer Donatella Versace arrives for the Franca Sozzani Award ceremony at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice September 1, 2017. — Reuters picMILAN, Jan 11 — When a long-awaited US television series about the murder of Gianni Versace hits the small screen in a week’s time, one key character will not be watching — the fashion designer’s sister Donatella.

Now artistic director and vice-president of the Milan-based Versace fashion group, Donatella said in an interview published by Italian daily la Repubblica yesterday that the series and a book it draws on contain gossip and contradictions.

“I haven’t seen (the series) nor will I see it, because after all this time it still hurts to see Gianni represented untruthfully,” Donatella told the paper.

The nine-episode series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story stars Edgar Ramirez as Gianni, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz as his sister and Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin as Gianni’s boyfriend.

It was produced by 21st Century Fox and drew inspiration from Maureen Orth’s 1999 book Vulgar Favors. It will start broadcasting on January 17.

In a statement sent by the company, the Versace family said “in the attempt to create a sensational story, (the TV drama) presents gossip full of contradictions”.

“It saddens (us) to see that among all possible portraits of (Gianni’s) life and story, the producers chose to present the false and distorted version created by Maureen Orth,” it added.

The statement said Orth’s book was full of speculation, adding the author had never sought information directly from the family and did not have the knowledge to tell the story, including suppositions on Gianni’s medical conditions.

Donatella also said in the interview that among the mistakes in the book was the assertion that Gianni had been weak at the time of his murder because he had AIDS.

The family distanced itself from the series on Monday, saying it had not authorised it and was not involved. On Tuesday the producer defended the show, saying the family has been treated with respect in it. — Reuters

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Italy, Germany nab 160 alleged mobsters, seize assets

Police in Italy and Germany seized 50 million euros ($60 million) in mafia assets Tuesday and arrested more than 160 people, accusing them of running a huge mob-controlled commercial and political empire involving everything from bread and wine sales to funeral services, migrant housing and garbage recycling.

Prosecutors in southern Italy said the ‘ndrangheta’s Farao-Marincola clan had its hand in just about every commercial enterprise in the Calabrian town of Ciro and nearby areas, and that its grip extended throughout Italy and into Germany to launder its profits.

Specifically, prosecutors accused the bosses of driving out all the baking competition in Ciro so that residents and restaurants were forced to buy bread from the one mob-controlled bakery in town. And they said that Italian restaurants in Germany, meanwhile, were forced to import Italian wine, olive oil and other goods from a clan-controlled Italian restaurant association.

“They controlled all the economic activity in entire towns,” Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told a press conference. “It concerned all commercial activity, and obviously political power as well.”

Carabinieri police said “dozens” of public administration officials were among the 169 people arrested.

Italy’s ‘ndrangheta has increasingly eclipsed the Cosa Nostra in power and wealth, infiltrating all sectors of Italian economic and political life and spreading out from its base in Calabria to Rome, Milan and beyond. The ‘ndrangheta’s presence in Germany first made headlines in 2007, when a family feud between Calabrian clans turned a birthday party at a Duisberg pizzeria into a massacre that left six dead.

Prosecutors said in this case, the Farao-Marincola clans managed to exert such control because of their wealth and ability to corrupt politicians and didn’t need to resort to the violence that long characterized traditional Mafia activity.

In Germany, the federal criminal police office said 11 people were arrested in western Germany, accused of blackmail and money-laundering. The arrests took place in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

“The detentions and seizures are an important success against the infiltration of mafia structures and methods in our economy,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. “We will not allow criminal organizations like the ‘ndrangheta to use Germany … and do their criminal business here.”

Italian prosecutors said the Italian suspects were accused of mafia association, attempted murder, extortion, money-laundering and illegal weapons possession, among other charges.

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Movie: Breaking Balls

Breaking Balls

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

by John P. Vourlis

About the Movie

Breaking Balls is a 75-minute feature length documentary film that follows three colorful figures involved in the game of bocce as viewed through the lens of the 30th Anniversary Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce tournament. The Challenge Cup is one of the largest bocce events in North America, and is held every year at the Wickliffe Italian-American Club in Wickliffe, Ohio, the last weekend of August.

Breaking Balls

View in iTunes

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Carnevale Masquerade Ball Advertisement Opportunity

Program Ad Purchase Form CIAO St Louis Presents 2018 CARNEVALE – MASQUERADE BALL Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 6:30 pm River City Casino & Hotel Ballroom 777 River City Casino Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63125

Carnevale is an annual tradition in all regions of Italy. CIAO St Louis is proud to present the first annual Carnevale Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 10, 2018. To commemorate this event, CIAO St Louis is publishing a program book with information, news, and features of Carnevale. The program book will be distributed to all guests attending the Ball, as well as businesses and individuals in the community. Please consider purchasing an advertisement in the program book. Your contribution will help CIAO St Louis achieve its goals of preserving and promoting Italian language and culture in the St. Louis community and surrounding area.

_____ $1000 full-page ad, plus 12 months of radio commercials, link on CIAO smart-phone app
_____ $500 full-page ad, plus 6 months of radio commercials, and link on the CIAO smart-phone app
_____ $100 full page (8½” x 11”)
_____ $50 half page (5” x 8½”)
_____ $25 quarter page (5” x 4”) Advertiser:

Click here to download a form

Contact Name: ________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________

City: ________________________ State: ____________ Zip: ___________

Phone: ___________________ Email: ______________________________ ____

Enclosed is my check in the amount of $_____ made payable to: CIAO St Louis ____

Please charge my Visa/MasterCard in the amount of $_________ Card Number: ________________________xp. Date ______VID ______

All ad forms and materials must be submitted by January 21, 2018. Ad Specs: Please submit your artwork with this form. All images must meet minimum resolution requirements of 300 dpi. Image files must be CMYK and in .gif, or .jpg file format. Any ad not meeting the ad sizes listed above may be altered.

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Epiphany Day in Florence: See the ‘Ride of the Magi’ Parade

events in Florence during the holidays

The holidays aren’t over in Italy until the Befanacomes around, January 6 or Epiphany Day, a feast that, in Western Christianity, commemorates the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. In Florence, the day is marked with a procession and re-enactment of an ancient Florentine tradition known as ‘la cavalcata dei Magi’, the ride of the Magi.

It is quite the show: the solemn procession, made up of about 700 people in period costumes, led by the Magi on horseback wearing sumptuous silk dresses inspired by those seen on Benozzo Gozzoli’s fresco in the chapel inside Palazzo Medici Riccardi, winds its way through the center of Florence, departing from Piazza Pitti and arriving in Piazza Duomo.

This tradition goes back to the 15th century, when a secular association dedicated to the Magi, the Compagnia dei Santi Re Magi, also known as ‘La Stella,’  organized a festive parade around the streets of Florence every three and then five years. The parade consisted of  three different processions that met at the Baptistery and proceeded together to the Basilica of San Marco, where, with songs and prayers, they worshipped Child Jesus.

Major members of the Medici family belonged to the association and took part in the parade; after 1494 however, when the Medici were expelled from Florence, the event was suppressed. It was the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florentine institution that, since 1296, promotes and preserves Piazza del Duomo and its monuments, that revived the tradition in 1997, the 700th year since the construction of the Cathedral.

To complete your experience of the Magi in Florence, you should visit the Magi Chapel in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, where you can admire the famous cycle of frescoes by Renaissance master Benozzo Gozzoli, painted around 1459 for the Medici family; they depict the journey of the Magi and several Medici figures.

The Details:

January 6, begins at 2 pm at Piazza Pitti, arrives at Piazza Duomo at 3 pm, passing through Via Guicciardini, Ponte Vecchio, Via Por Santa Maria, Via Lambertesca, Loggiato degli Uffizi, Piazza della Signoria, Via Calzaiuoli. At 2:30 pm in Piazza della Signoria, the parade will be joined by the Corteo storico della Repubblica fiorentina (Historic Procession of the Florentine Republic).

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