ACQUISITIONS CONTINUE TO DECLINE
Mergers and acquisitions in the food processing industry declined in 2005 for the second year in a row to the lowest number since 2000, according to figures from the Food Institute, Elmwood Park, N.J.(see table below).
Food processors closed 94 deals, the most in the Food Institute’s broader “food industry,” which includes everything from agricultural cooperatives to retailers. But the number is a far cry from the 168 mergers announced in 2000, the busiest year in the institute’s annual report “Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions 2005.” Another 21 deals were announced but not completed.
In the first half of 2006, the food processing segment picked up the pace slightly, closing 49 deals with 13 more pending. The Food Institute has been tracking mergers and acquisitions for 25 years.
Within the food processing segment in 2005, the two busiest categories showed increases. Multi-product companies were the busiest with 33 deals, up from 20 in 2004. Brewers, distillers and wineries also showed an increase, to 13, the most this category has experienced in the six-year history of this current report. Bakers, previously a quiet category, also recorded an increase (to nine transactions).
The categories of confectioners, dairy, fruits & vegetables, meat and “other” all decreased by about half.
Some of the bigger food processing deals included:
The food processing number was in line with the aggregate numbers of the Food Institute’s broader food industry and most of the categories. Overall, 323 mergers and acquisitions closed in 2005, down 8 percent from the previous year and the fifth straight year of overall decline.
“[Overall] activity may have declined compared to previous years, but there were a number of significant transactions in several categories,” says Danielle Breuel, research and education director at the Food Institute.
The 166-page report can be purchased from the Food Institute web site (www.foodinstitute.com) or by calling 201-791-5570 ext. 16.
To access the table (a 2-page PDF) that lists our Top 100 companies and compares their 2005 and 2004 sales and income figures, click the Download Now button below.
Read about the Top 100. Access processor profiles ranked 1-25 here. Access processor profiles ranked 26-50 here. Access processor profiles 51-100 here.