The leaders of Japan and China got off to a tense start but have made significant progress in turning around their relations in recent years.Asia Politicsread more
Tech's hottest IPOs of the year, including Beyond Meat and Zoom, dropped on Monday, falling more than the broader market.Technologyread more
Citi Private Bank says it has maintained an "overweight" stance on stocks in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.Asia Marketsread more
Stocks in Asia slipped on Tuesday, while investors looked toward a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping set to happen later in the...Asia Marketsread more
A week of dovish fireworks out of the central banking community has just gone by with most of the world's leading central banks now guiding towards easing in light of downside...Commentaryread more
"We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country," Trump tells reporters in the Oval Office.Politicsread more
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a phone conversation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, China's Ministry of Commerce...World Economyread more
Sen. Bernie Sanders announced a plan Monday to forgive the country's $1.6 trillion outstanding student loan tab, intensifying the higher education policy debate in the 2020...Personal Financeread more
While earnings usually come in substantially ahead of expectations — as much as 4 or 5 percentage points is not unusual — the downward direction in the outlook doesn't speak...Earningsread more
U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway will not testify before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee this week on her alleged violations of...Politicsread more
"We missed being the dominant mobile operating system by a very tiny amount. We were distracted during our antitrust trial. We didn't assign the best people to do the work,"...Technologyread more
Mars is investing in Kind, giving the M&Ms-owner a stake in the bar brand made of ingredients "people can see and pronounce."
Kind, founded in 2004, was one of the first popular snacks to eschew artificial flavors and preservatives. With Mars' investment, the Snickers-owner gains an entrance into this increasingly popular trend and Kind the resources to expand upon it.
"Our vision is that Kind is going to become the foremost health and wellness platform," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind.
The deal gives Mars the option — though not the requirement — to fully acquire Kind down the road, according to a source familiar with the situation. It values Kind at roughly $3 billion, though potentially as much as $4 billion, depending on how quickly Kind grows.
The now $33 billion U.S. snack category has ballooned along with hectic Americans' schedules that force them to eat on-the-go. Busy households today spend on average $133 annually on individual snack items, according to research firm Nielsen. The fastest growing snack items are those with a health focus, like organic or free of artificial flavors.
That growth has attracted investment from larger food companies. Earlier this year, Conagra acquired Boomchickapop popcorn's parent company Angie's Artisan Treats, and Kellogg acquired RXBar for $600 million.
The boom has also invited new competitors. Lubetzky said the industry lost about 15 percent of its market share to copycat playersin 2015 and 2016. Many of those brands though have struggled to maintain sufficient sales to ensure placement in retailers, he said.
In Europe, the snacking category is far more nascent. European diners still tend to enjoy sit-down meals.
Kind sells through distributors in 14 countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom and Ireland. With Mars' investment, Kind expects to double down in those countries while expanding in others.
Going to those countries now, ahead of the potential rising trend, prevents Kind from appearing like a "me too" player, said Lubetzky.
"If somebody borrows our playbook and goes there first, we might be perceived by consumers as a copycat... We want to go there faster."
With Mars' investment, Kind also expects to build out its products, both through innovation and acquisition. Kind already makes breakfast bars, clusters and fruit bites. Categories the company could move into — though no decisions have been made — include beverages and frozen food.
Private equity firm VMG group bought a stake in Kind in 2008. It later sold back its shares to Lubetzky in 2014 in a stake sale that valued the company at $728.5 million.