2010 closed with a growing amount of M&A activity with business becoming more confident and lending conditions becoming more favourable. But what will 2011 hold for buyers and sellers in the food industry?
There have been over 640 stories in just-food's M&A section since April this year covering everything from industry-changing mergers to bolt on acquisitions and brand disposals. This section to the briefing tracks the major moves through the year by looking at all the deals that were put under scrutiny in our insights section.
As we headed into September, there was uncertainty about the prospects for M&A activity, with analysts at KPMG suggesting the value of deals in the food, drink and consumer goods space in the second quarter stood at just under US$19bn - down from the $49bn of deals recorded in the first three months of the year. However, the last months of 2010 saw a number of key pieces of M&A - notably the merger of Greencore and Northern Foods - and deals signed to see PepsiCo buy Wimm-Bill-Dann and a private-equity consortium by Del Monte Foods.
Kraft Foods' move to buy Cadbury in January failed to spark a burst of M&A activity in the food industry, as economic conditions continued to dampen attitude to risk. As the year progressed, however, and confidence returned, the pace of acquisitions picked up. But as Dean Best reports, the nature and rationale behind the deals has altered significantly.