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Hain buys Canadian brand

The Hain Celestial Group of Melville has bought a Canadian natural foods brand, Europe's Best. The acquisition brings to Hain a line of about two dozen products -- fruits and vegetables in different combinations -- that are sold in Canada under the motto "We only freeze the best." Among Best's newest products is a packet combining frozen red sour cherries, sweet cherries and black currants. Revenue and profit histories were not available for the Markham, Ontario, brand, a division of Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. Hain did not immediately disclose how much it paid J.M. Smucker Co. for the brand. The transaction took place Oct. 5. Hain Celestial chief executive Irwin Simon said he expects to increase the brand's overall sales in Canada by adding it to Hain's marketing and distribution system there. Hain finished fiscal 2011, on June 30, with a very strong final quarter: net sales of $292 million, up from $222.7 million in the same quarter last year, and net profit for the quarter of $12.8 million, up from $6.6 million in the year-ago quarter. -- JOSEPH MALLIA

Drug exec is Aceto nominee

Aceto Corp. has named a pharmaceuticals executive as a new candidate for its board, the Port Washington chemical supplier's chief executive said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday. The choice of Natasha Giordano, 51, as an independent director candidate is in line with Aceto's recent strategic emphasis on finished-dosage generic drugs as opposed to its mainstay of bulk chemicals. The changes at Aceto come after a rocky stretch as the company's stock lost more than a third of its value this year. It has a market capitalization of $152 million and had net income of $8.9 million on revenue of $412.4 million in the past year. The full Aceto board will vote on the nomination at its Dec. 8 annual meeting. She is president and chief executive of Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, with principal offices in Mount Arlington, N.J., and Newport, Ky. A registered nurse, she has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in a range of business segments in the drugmaking industry. -- JOSEPH MALLIA


Union rejects Ford-UAW pact

A Ford Motor Co. union has rejected a contract agreement between the company and the United Auto Workers, indicating that Ford and the UAW could have a tough time getting some workers to accept the deal. UAW Local 900, which represents workers at three plants outside Detroit, said Tuesday 51.1 percent of its workers voted to reject the agreement. A total of 2,582 workers voted. Ford and the UAW reached a tentative agreement on the four-year contract last week, but workers must ratify it. Local 900 was one of the first to vote on the agreement. Under the agreement most workers will get profit-sharing checks instead of annual raises. Workers also would get a $6,000 signing bonus and the promise of thousands of new jobs in U.S. plants through 2015. Bill Johnson, union bargaining chairman of the Michigan Assembly Plant, which makes the Ford Focus, said workers are angry that the contract doesn't give back some of the things they lost in previous agreements. He said they're also mad about Ford chief executive Alan Mulally's $26.5-million pay package for 2010. -- AP

Alcoa's profit falls short

Alcoa's quarterly profit fell short of expectations as worries about the global economy hurt aluminum prices. Alcoa Inc. reported net income of $172 million, or 15 cents per share Tuesday. That was better than year-earlier net income of $61 million, or 6 cents per share. Revenue rose 21 percent to $6.42 billion. But results were weaker than expected. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of 22 cents per share on revenue of $6.24 billion. The performance marked a disappointing start to earnings season. -- AP

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