Premier Foods has announced it has reached an agreement to sell its four Irish brands – Gateaux, Chivers, McDonnells and the Erin licence – to The Boyne Valley Group for €41.4 million (£34.7m).It comes the week after an announcement that Premier was selling its Brookes Avana business to 2 Sisters Food Group for a cash consideration of £30m.Premier said the move represents a further step in the Group’s strategy to focus investment behind eight ‘power brands’, which include Hovis and Mr Kipling. Chivers is Ireland’s third largest ambient dessert brand, while Chivers Jelly is the second largest jam brand on the market, according to Premier. Gateaux manufactures 20 types of traditional cakes. McDonnells manufactures Supernoodles and curry sauce, while Erin is a trademark of Erin Foods Ltd, and Premier Foods produces soups under the licence.Michael Clarke, chief executive officer, Premier Foods said: “The sale of these Irish Brands will enable us to focus on supporting our Power Brands in line with our overall strategy. Coming hard on the heels of the announcement of the Brookes Avana sale agreement, this underlines our determination to streamline the business to help restore profitable growth quickly.”Premier Foods Ireland forms part of the Group’s Grocery division and is the fifth largest supplier of ambient groceries to the Irish market.>>Premier agrees Brookes Avana sale
Greensky Bluegrass rang in the New Year with two stellar shows at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, returning to the Royal Oak, MI venue for a fun-filled celebration. Over two nights, Greensky welcomed special guests and played their prized original material, with some choice covers tossed in as well. Riding high after the release of their 2016 album Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, Greensky settled in and truly delivered. With a New Year’s countdown inside Prince’s “1999”, covers of Pink Floyd, Traffic, JJ Cale and more, these were two unforgettable shows.Fortunately, thanks to taper Todd Moore, we can listen back and enjoy these two great shows. Check them out below!
Willing oneself to victory in the midst of a mere seven-minute contest will do a wrestler no good when faced with a potentially more talented and likely better prepared opponent.Especially while competing against a multitude of teams in the country’s most elite wrestling conference, Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis takes every opportunity to better his team on and off the mat.“I’ve been using the term ‘buying in,’ to understanding the sport of wrestling, coming to work every day,” Davis said. “[We’re] buying in to doing the small things right to win. Anybody can work hard; it’s not about working hard, it’s about working smart, understanding your style of wrestling.”Davis has led the Badgers to a 3-2 start in Big Ten play after ending the season without a league win just a year ago. Wisconsin has taken down three ranked teams this season including conference foes No. 11 Michigan and No. 9 Nebraska on the road.With only two ranked wrestlers to its name at the start of the year, Wisconsin wasn’t predicted to make a dent in the iron shields of the dominant Big Ten teams. However, the Badgers find themselves tied for fourth place in a league with nine ranked teams and four of the top five teams in the country.“Whether you like it or not, you’re going to get elite competition,” Davis said. “It makes you focus more, hone in on what you really need to do to be successful and challenge you where you’re at as an athlete. That’s what the Big Ten’s all about.”Davis explained the team has found success against talented teams by taking care of off-the-mat matters which include taking care of conditioning, nutrition and academics. He said his top priority for his team is to achieve success in the classroom followed by success in wrestling.“With [academics and athletics] you only have a certain amount of time to care of business,” Davis said.After UW won its first three conference duals by seven points or less, the team was easily handled by No. 1 Penn State and No. 6 Ohio State last weekend. Even though doing the little things couldn’t put the Badgers past two national powerhouses, redshirt freshman heavyweight Connor Medbery said the team was encouraged by the slim margins of some of the matches.“We had a tough weekend last weekend,” Medbery said. “We went in there and battled them, we had a lot of close matches … we’re right there and we’re improving a lot.”Medbery earned wins against ranked opponents in each of the matches by way of decision to retain his undefeated 8-0 record in dual matches. He has defeated five of the top 25 heavyweight wrestlers in the country in those eight contests.Medbery said at this point in the season, with only three Big Ten contests remaining on the schedule, including Big Ten leader and fourth-ranked Minnesota, every wrestler is not at full strength. He said the team has to grind it out until the end of the regular season before the team gets a couple of weeks to prepare for the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA tournament.“It’s going to be a battle during those last couple of weeks of the season, so this is definitely getting you ready mentally and physically,” Medbery said.One player who has made a critical physical change during the brutal conference season is redshirt junior Tyler Graff. The No. 3 wrestler of the 141 lb. weight class has wrestled at the 133 lb. weight class in the last three matches, posting a 2-1 record since the move.After going 11-2 during his stint weighing 141 lb., Graff decided to transition back to his more natural weight after being unable to maintain a high enough weight to compete at 141 lb.“The body frames are different,” Graff said. “I’m giving myself the best opportunity to be a national champion. I’m not giving anybody an upper-hand, because my weight’s pretty light for the 141 class.”With Wisconsin squarely in the midst of a Big Ten title race, the team is aware of the work that needs to be done. Both Davis and Graff said every day is a building process and small daily adjustments can make a difference in the Big Ten.And with about two weeks left in the regular season, there’s no question that the NCAA tournament is what the team is preparing for.“We’re just focused on March,” Medbery said. “I mean, these duals are important, but we’re all set toward March.”