January Updates from Automatic Merchandiser

Philip MorrisPhilip Morris completes Nabisco purchase; Nabisco's Rudnitsky to head Kraft Foods
Philip Morris Cos. Inc. recently completed its purchase of Nabisco Holdings Corp. while R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. bought Nabisco's former parent, giving it $1.5 billion in cash, the companies reported. Philip Morris' Kraft Foods Inc. unit can now stock its cupboard with the Nabisco Holdings food line of Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, Lifesavers candies and Gray Poupon mustard. Philip Morris, also the world's largest cigarette company, paid about $14.58 billion plus the assumption of about $4 billion in debt. The combined Kraft/Nabisco creates a packaged food giant with annual revenues of $35 billion. Steven Rudnitsky, former president of Nabisco Food Service, has been named president of the Kraft Food Services Division. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., acquired Nabisco Group Holdings Corp., which held more than an 80 percent stake in Nabisco, for about $9.8 billion.

A1 Office Services & Supply buys two OCS operations
A1 Office Services & Supply INc., based in Willoughby, Ohio, has traded its vending business for Cleveland-based Atlas Vending Inc.'s OCS business, and has also acquired Macedonia, Ohio-based 5 O'Clock Coffee. A1 Office Services & Supply now has five OCS routes, according to Vince Mellott, owner. 5 O'Clock Coffee founder Jim Zucallo said he sold his OCS business in order to focus on his brewer coating business, BrewTech Inc., which he started four years ago. BrewTech powder coats coffee brewers in different colors for OCS operators, retailers and consumers.

ARAMARK ARAMARK has water filtration
ARAMARK REFRESHMENT SERVICES INC. recently came out with a water filtration system that offers lead reduction and bacteria control, and eliminates harmful sediments. The system, AquaMark, meets the federal standard for filters that remove odor, chlorine and particles, and for filters that offer the highest protection from lead and cysts. The system has carries Gold Seal from the Water Quality Association.

Imperial Trading Co. partners with Automatic Coin Inc.
Imperial Trading CO. and Automatic Coin Inc. have formed a partnership where the two New Orleans, La.-based companies will consolidate purchasing and management resources, according to Bill Kearney, director of vending at Imperial Trading Co. Imperial Trading, owned by the Georges family, provides wholesale distribution services to convenience stores in five Southern states in addition to its 11 full-line vending and three cigarette routes in the Greater New Orleans area. Automatic Coin, owned by Anthony Schneller, operates 21 vending routes and one OCS route. The companies will keep their existing names and operate from their own facilities, Kearney stated.

National Beverage & Products Association NBPA names Rashkin, rolls out show incentives
OCS veteran Len Rashkin has joined the National Beverage & Products Association executive board as second vice president. Rashkin, a former OCS operator, recently joined Vend-Plus USA, a supplier of tabletop machines. He will be securing sponsorships for the 16th annual NBPA trade show, Feb. 28 to March 2, 2001 at Bally's Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. The NBPA supplier advisory committee has announced an incentive program, "Show Bucks," which attendees may use toward purchase of merchandise at a booth of their choice during the show. All attendees will receive 20 "Show Bucks" valued at $50 and be applied to purchases totalling $1,000. For information, call NBPA at 1-800-NBPA.

All Seasons acquires four more operations
All seasons services inc. has announced four acquisitions: A.S. Hardy Co., based in Malone, N.Y.; G&N Foods Inc., in New Britain, Conn.; Jomar Sales and Vending Co., Peabody, Mass., and the the vending assets and accounts of Pepsi Bottling Group in Watertown, N.Y. The New York acquisitions will be managed by All Seasons' Canastota, N.Y. district offices. G&N Foods will be managed by the Wallingford, Conn. offices. Robert Hardy, one of three owners of A.S. Hardy, has joined All Seasons, as has George Guildner, who founded G&N Foods, and Michael Isaacson, owner of Jomar Sales and Vending, which serves Boston. The Pepsi Bottling Group will continue to operate a bottling operation in Watertown, N.Y.

MaytagMaytag revamps commercial solutions, cuts Internet funds
Maytag Corp., which owns Dixie Narco Inc., has cut back spending on Internet business and announced the resignation of three senior executives as part of a restructuring. The news came a week after Maytag, the subject of takeover speculation, promoted two insiders to senior executive posts and reached outside the company to fill another key spot. Maytag is still searching for a new chairman and chief executive. Interim Chief Executive Leonard Hadley said Maytag plans to significantly curtail investments in Web- and e-commerce initiatives outside its core operations. In vending, Maytag had invested in eVend.net, an Internet company that developed several Internet-activated vending machines, as an equity partner. "It is not affecting us in any way, shape or form," said Wendy Jenkins, director of marketing at eVend.net. Resigning from Maytag were Jerome Davis, president of Maytag's commercial solutions group, which includes foodservice and vending equipment; Gregory Jordan, chief technology officer; and Carole Uhrich, president of the homes solutions group.


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