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Jan 22, 2015 / Richard Hall

35 acquisitions over $1 billion in 2014

Out of a record 563 food and drink transactions covered by the bevblog.net acquisitions database for 2014, another record of 35 involved sums over US $1 billion, 2.5 times the number in 2011.

            GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK ACQUISITIONS OVER $1 BILLION 2011-14

Blog-22Jan2015-Global food and drink acquisitions 2011-14

Sources: bevblog.net, Zenith International

The top 10 could hardly have been more diverse, spanning 13 countries and 10 different product sectors.

TOP 10 GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK TRANSACTIONS 2014

Blog-22Jan2015-Global food and drink acquisitions 2011-14-Table

Sources: bevblog.net, Zenith International

Their combined value was $68 billion, compared with $97 billion for the top 10 in 2013.  The 35 over $1 billion totalled $108 billion, 19% below the 30 over $1 billion in 2013, but 24% more than the 26 over $1 billion in 2012.

Link to database

Jan 20, 2015 / Richard Hall

Biggest buyers and sellers in 2014

Coca-Cola, Danone, Anheuser-Busch InBev and DS Services were the 4 most acquisitive companies of 2014, according to the bevblog.net food and drink transactions database, with each responsible for 6 or more takeovers.  Lactalis, Diageo, FrieslandCampina, Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated and BBX Capital all made 5 purchases.

Nestlé and Coca-Cola were the only 2 companies to make 5 or more sales, followed by Unilever on 4, then BASF, Cargill and Constar on 3 each.

A total of 909 companies were involved across 75 countries, with the United States and United Kingdom consistently most prominent overall.

GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK TRANSACTIONS BY COUNTRY 2013-14

Rank Country

2013

2014

Top buyers  

1 United States

177

 197

2 United Kingdom

43

74

3 France

31

32

4 Canada

22

22

5 Germany

21

20

 

Top sellers

 

1 United States

 197

 208

2 United Kingdom

74

66

3= Canada

22

20

  China

18

20

5= Italy

13

17

  Australia

9

17

Sources: bevblog.net, Zenith International

Reversing the pattern of 2013, US companies made 11 more sales than purchases, while UK companies made 8 more purchases than sales.  France was the biggest net buyer (+16) and Australia/New Zealand the biggest net sellers (-16).

Link to database

Jan 15, 2015 / Richard Hall

563 food and drink acquisitions in 2014

A record 563 food and drink industry transactions were reported in the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database for 2014, an average of more than 10 per week and 17% above the level of 2013.

The total compares with 466 in 2011, 520 in 2012 and 481 in 2013.

GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK ACQUISITIONS 2011-14

Global food and drink acquisitions 2011-14

Sources: bevblog.net, Zenith International

The highest numbers of deals were in packaging, dairy, general food, soft drinks and ingredients.

GLOBAL FOOD AND DRINK ACQUISITIONS BY SECTOR 2013-14

Rank  Sector

2013

2014

1 Packaging

35

68

2 Dairy

64

63

3 General food

47

51

4 Soft drinks

35

48

5 Ingredients

49

47

6= Spirits

36

28

Wine

38

28

8 Beer

24

25

9 Confectionery

5

19

10= Bottled water

16

17

Equipment

17

17

12 Bakery

8

16

13= Nutrition

14

14

Meat

14

14

15 Coffee

6

13

Sources: bevblog.net, Zenith International

The biggest changes were a leap in transactions for packaging (+33), back to its leadership position held in 2012, in confectionery (+14) and soft drinks (+13), with the major falls being in wine (-10) and spirits (-8).  Water cooler deals slipped from 13 to 11 and fruit juice from 13 to 10.

Link to database

 

Jan 13, 2015 / Richard Hall

41 acquisitions in December

2014 ended with 41 more food and drink industry transactions recorded on the bevblog.net database for December, but only one of these exceeded $500 million.

This was the $1,300 million ingredients purchase of US Archer Daniels Midland’s cocoa business by Singapore’s Olam international. Olam also spent $176 million on another US business McCleskey Mills.

The next biggest was €178 million for US Keurig Green Mountain to buy the remaining 85% of Malta’s Bevyz dispense system business.

Of the 41 monthly total, 9 were in alcohol, 6 in soft drinks, 5 in dairy, 5 in ingredients and 4 in packaging.

19 involved the United States, followed by France on 5 and Mexico on 4, then Australia, Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on 3 each. All 4 Mexico transactions were purchases. All 3 Canada transactions were sales.

Link to database

Jan 8, 2015 / Richard Hall

Road narrows for French drives

After 7 years of accelerating growth since the opening of France’s first click and collect ‘drive’ retailer, there are now signs of a slowdown.

  • Market leader Leclerc plans only 50 new outlets in 2015, compared with 140 in 2014.
  • 2 million new customers were recruited in 2014, but 3.1 million did not return.
  • At least 18 outlets have now closed altogether.

It could be, however, that the segment is simply changing gear to refine its offer more effectively.

  • It still represented 47% of overall food retail sales growth in 2014, even if down from 80% in 2013.
  • Supermarkets with drives are performing 3% more strongly than those without.
  • They accounted for 4.5% of grocery sales in October 2014.

Infant milk powders are the top selling product, with still water the top beverage in 9th position.

Jan 6, 2015 / Richard Hall

Cracking carton recycling

I have been highly critical in the past about the poor track record of UK local authorities in offering kerbside collection of beverage cartons for recycling.

In 2006, the number of Councils providing this service was just 6%.

By the end of last year, the figure had risen to 60%. Hooray.

If you add industry efforts, bring-bank schemes cover an extra 31% of Councils, leaving only 9% without any facility. Even better.

But it is still shocking, as we enter 2015, that 40% of local authorities in such an advanced economy have yet to include cartons in their kerbside collection.

Dec 18, 2014 / Richard Hall

Most bizarre product of year award

Normally the silly season of summer produces the strangest stories, when serious news is less forthcoming.

This year, however, the whackiest has waited until the winter.

It’s a Wireless Speaker Water Bottle that costs $59.95.

• The bottle holds less than 12 ounces of water.
• The Bluetooth speaker in the lid takes 3 hours to charge for just 6 hours of play.
• Perhaps the climbing clip is its defining feature.

Can you beat that ?

Dec 16, 2014 / Richard Hall

Spilt milk for Coke ?

So Coca-Cola has had to withdraw sexist advertising for a new brand before it has even been launched. Wait a minute. What’s happening may be more radical than most people think. Here’s an alternative point of view.

Coca-Cola wants to build a more balanced brand portfolio with more natural, healthier, ideally nutritious products. It’s looking at milk. It needs to be bold. What if it created a milk that’s better than nature ?

For lots of consumers, the answer will be yes. What can you add to milk to make it better ? Well, 50% more calcium and protein sounds good. What can you take out ? 30% less sugar looks intelligent. And removing lactose will appeal to the 24% of Americans who are lactose intolerant.

Now, what is the most all embracing brand name you could wish for that’s not already taken? Ah, FairLife.

For the financial community, a premium price is attractive. And the international opportunity is potentially far greater, since lactose intolerance increases to over 90% of the population in parts of Africa and Asia.

As for the advertising, it made people look and started new conversations.

I suspect we may find FairLife has a lot to offer a very large number of households in time. Or I’ll drink my words.

Here’s to a white Christmas.