Blog: Lion gets its prey and pounces for Picard
Dean Best | 27 July 2010
Private equity just cannot keep away from the food industry headlines at the moment.
After a week in which the future of yoghurt maker Yoplait and snacks giant United Biscuits (two companies owned by buyout houses) came to the fore, private-equity firm Lion Capital moved to snap up French frozen-food retailer Picard.
The EUR1.5bn deal, which remains subject to competition authority authorisation, is a boost for Lion after being pipped to the post last Monday when private-equity firm Permira bought Findus Italy from Unilever.
As we report today (27 July), Lion is Picard's third successive private-equity owner, so there should be relatively little cost for the buyout house to extract from the business. To generate returns, Lion and Picard is likely to look to expand at home and abroad.
In any case, all these deals suggest two things: one, private equity is attracted to the defensive nature of the food industry, which has proved relatively resilient during the recession and are keen to buy established brands rather than own label.
And two, for private equity firms looking to sell, the recent recovery in the markets means that now could be a good time to get a decent return on their investment.
Ask any FMCG executive to list the trends shaking up the sector and digital and e-commerce will be pretty high on the list. Drill down into that and Amazon will be one of the subjects in the digital s...
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...
Greenpeace's long-running campaign against UK tuna brand John West, owned by seafood giant Thai Union, is now directing its fire against Sainsbury's....
- The key questions for digital strategists in 2017
- Unilever 2016 investor day - the top takeaways
- Wessanen's move for Spain's Biogran - analysis
- Burger King, Jollibee: foodservice focus, Nov 2016
- Have food promotions reached tipping point?
- General Mills jobs to go in business revamp
- Verlinvest, China Resources invest in Oatly
- B&G acquires pasta sauce group Victoria Fine Foods
- Tyson sets up US$150m investment fund
- Japan's Nagatanien buys Chaucer Food Group