One of the largest inbound SA transactions in recent memory occurred in Paarl in the Western Cape in mid-July. That was when, after a tortuous two years of weak earnings and slumping share price, SA’s second-largest foods business, Pioneer Foods, issued a cautionary stating it had entered into negotiations that might have an effect on its share price.Pioneer Foods had until then been on a share price slide, The stock started 2019 at R85.00, but weak consumer demand hit margins and earnings. This led to a 14% decline in interim earnings to March 2019, and Pioneer slid to a low of R69.00 in early July.The cautionary — as well as leaks relating to a sudden spike of interest on July 18 and from news reports — suggested something big was occurring.On July 19 it was announced, in a bold and detailed 23-page Sens announcement, that the world’s second-largest beverage business, PepsiCo — the US-listed producer of Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Lay’s and Doritos — had a fir...

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