2014 was the busiest year for mergers and acquisitions in the food and beverage industry since The Food Institute started keeping records. The organization recorded 503 deals (not all of them closed yet), a 61.7 percent increase from the previous year.
The first quarter of 2014 was especially busy. Mergers and acquisitions more than doubled from the first quarter of 2013, and they continued to increase in each quarter after. After just the first six months of the year, activity was only five deals shy of surpassing the total mergers for 2009.
Some of the largest M&A deals of the year included Tyson Foods’ acquisition of Hillshire Brands for $8.55 billion and Post Holdings Inc.’s acquisition of Michael Foods Inc. for $2.45 billion. General Mills Inc. added to its natural and organic products portfolio by getting Annie’s Inc. for $810 million. Annie’s, with more than 145 products, had net sales of $204 million in its last fiscal year ended March 2014.
However, the Food Institute (www.foodinstitute.com), a nonprofit organization founded to collect and disseminate information about the industry, includes in its definition of the food industry a number of entities beyond food & beverage processors. Some are on the accompanying table (below). Not included in that table, but included in the Food Institute’s overall numbers (and those 503 deals), are brokers, consultants & other service providers, investments firms & banks, packaging & equipment suppliers, raw product & ingredient suppliers, restaurants & foodservice, retailers, and wholesalers & distributors.
The Food Institute does break the food & beverage processors down by category. The 221-page report can be ordered online via the Food Institute’s catalog of reports or you can contact April Brendel at 201-791-5570 x210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.