2018 was another record year for food and drink industry transactions, with 777 registered in the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 15 each week.
The total is 48 more than in 2017 and 63% higher than five years ago. The number has increased every year since a dip in 2013.
The most active sectors were soft drinks on 65, ingredients on 62, dairy on 57, then packaging on 47. Wine on 37 was ahead of spirits on 29 and beer on 23.
The top 15 sectors were the same as 2017, with the exception of equipment replacing plant-based. The combination of plant-based with dairy-free, meat-free and vegan totalled 28. Bottled water and water coolers added up to 25.
The biggest increases were for services (+25) and confectionery (+13). Most of the main categories saw declines, led by beer (-17) and dairy (-15).
Out of 777 total food and drink transactions covered by the database for 2018, 28 involved sums over $1 billion. This was below the 33 recorded in 2017, but higher than the numbers for 2015 and 2016.
The $104 billion combined value of the top ten was 36% higher than the $77 billion for the top ten of 2017, but 39% lower than the $171 billion for the top ten of 2016 and little more than a quarter of the $365 billion for the top ten of 2015.
The 28 over $1 billion totalled $141 billion, compared with $115 billion for the 33 over $1 billion in 2017, $190 billion for the 22 over $1 billion in 2016 and $403 billion for the 27 over $1 billion in 2015.
Coca-Cola, Cavu, Kerry, Waterlogic, Archer Daniels Midland, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, JAB and Lactalis were the most acquisitive companies of 2018, according to the bevblog.net food and drink transactions database, with each responsible for 5 or more takeovers. Diageo, Krones, Nestlé, Oetker and Unilever all made four purchases.
Nestlé was only company to agree five or more sales, followed by Real Good Food and Tyson Foods on four, then BRF on three.
A total of 1,281 companies were involved across 66 countries, with the United States and United Kingdom most prominent overall.
France was again the biggest net buyer (+15), followed by Luxembourg (+10) and Denmark (+9).
The United Kingdom was the main net seller (-22), followed by the United States (-17) and Germany (-16).
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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