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Supplier Tidbits

• Anheuser-Busch InBev is buying the remaining stake it does not already own in Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V. for $20.1 billion. A-B InBev already owns more than a 50-percent stake in the Mexican-based brewer and called the acquisition a "natural next step." The combined company will have operations in 24 countries, 150,000 employees and 2012 estimated revenues of $47 billion. As part of the deal, A-B InBev also announced that Grupo Modelo would sell its 50-percent stake in Crown Imports LLC to Constellation Brands.

• American Express Co. has set guidelines for all merchants to follow regarding EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip-based contact, contact-less and mobile payments. The company is requiring all of its retailers, processors and issuers to support its EMV chip-based contact by April 2013. In addition, the credit card giant said by October 2013, merchants will be eligible to receive relief from Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard reporting requirements if the merchants' point-of-sale acceptance locations are enabled to process American Express EMV contact and contactless transactions.

• The Hershey Co. outlined plans to reach $10 billion in net sales by 2017, with a focus on five core brands: Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. The company also expects long-term net sales growth of 5 percent to 7 percent and adjusted earnings per share growth of 8 percent to 10 percent. For fiscal 2012, Hershey expects full-year net sales growth of approximately 7 percent to 9 percent.

• Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is developing three new products, one of which is a cigarette the company says poses a lower health risk to users. The cigarette, which heats tobacco rather than burning it, will be ready by 2017. A second product under development would be lit with a normal lighter, while a third uses a chemical reaction to make an aerosol that contains nicotine. The three products would be sold under PMI's existing brands like Marlboro.

• Logic Technology Development has been awarded a patent for a digital indicator for its disposable electronic cigarettes. The display feature lets e-cigarette users know how many puffs are left in the product. The company expects to feature it on its disposable products soon. Logic has other patents pending.

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