In Brief: Weston sells off last of bakery business

Plus, Quebecor plans to get into national wireless game sooner rather than later, and Cannes commits to hybrid festival.

George Weston is out of the baking business

Hearthside Food Solutions has bought George Weston’s ambient bakery business, which covers cookies, crackers, cones and wafers sold to retail and foodservice, for an aggregate cash consideration of $370 million. The deal, which is still subject to customary approvals, is expected to close in Q1 2022.

After last month’s sale of the fresh and frozen bakery business to FBF Brands – which includes products from Wonder, Ace Bakery, Country Harvest and D’Italiano brands – the company has now fully divested from its bakery business, something it announced its intention to do earlier this year in order to focus on its grocery and real estate business.

Péladeau is ready for Quebecor to go national

Quebec-based telco Quebecor has decided it has waited long enough to get into the national wireless game.

Quebecor’s plans to get into the market at a national scale had previously been paused as it waited to see the outcome of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger; it has been expected by analysts that one possible condition of approval would be that the merged company divest from certain wireless assets, like Freedom Mobile or Shaw Mobile, so as to not have outsized control of the wireless market. Quebecor has expressed its interest in buying some of those assets, as they would give the company the infrastructure needed to expand outside of its home province.

But in interviews with The Globe and Mail and Financial Post this week, CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau still did not provide details on his wireless plans, but did say  that the company is not interested in waiting. Decisions on the Roger-Shaw merger are still moving on, and any acquisition Quebecor makes potentially taking up to another two years to close, so he says now is the time to build on the success of its existing Quebec carrier Fizz, with any acquisitions it makes down the line being added to and improving its network.

Cannes Lions to be, at least partially, in person

Cannes Lions has confirmed that it will be running a hybrid festival when it returns next June.

After cancelling the 2020 Cannes Lions and moving the 2021 edition to a virtual format, the 2022 edition will feature a mix of digital and in-person content and events. Though full details have yet to be released, it will build on digital content initiatives the festival has been building over the last two years – such as the Lions Membership – with the option to come together in “a meaningful way.”

“Through highly curated content, community networking opportunities and agenda setting initiatives Cannes Lions will provide an annual forum for the global industry to address the most pressing issues the industry and world are facing today,” says Simon Cook, the festival’s managing director.

For the awards, all initial stages of judging will once again happen remotely, using the same technology platform it utilized for this year’s awards, but final-stage judging will once again happen in person.

Cannes Lions will begin delegate registration on Jan. 13, with award entries opening on Jan. 20.