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Food and beverage faces slow start to 2022

After a strong year of M&A activity in 2021 in the food and beverage industry, the start of 2022 experienced a decrease in closed deals and a significant slowdown in total deal transaction value. Despite the slowdown, strategic buyers maintained their role as the most active buyers in the sector by capitalizing on consolidation. H1 2022 total deal value and activity resembled H1 2019, potentially indicating a return to “normalcy” for M&A in the food and beverage industry.

Market volatility:

The stock market faced unexpected volatility with persistent supply chain issues intensified by the war in Ukraine, soaring inflation, the end of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, and fears of an economic slowdown. Aggregate deal value of the middle market M&A transactions had a 70% decrease from total deal value of middle market M&A transactions with reported values in H1 2021. Within the last five years, H1 2022 was slowest first half of the year by reported number of closed middle transactions.

U.S. middle market food and beverage M&A activity for transactions closed

Aggregate transaction value and number of deals

Us middle market food and beverage M&A activity for transactions closed

Middle market is defined as transaction values between $10 million and $200 million
Source: S&P Capital IQ and Baker Tilly Capital research (July 2022)
Note: Only includes food and beverage deals where the target was based in the United States.

Branded packaged goods leading the way

After strong 2021 for M&A activity in food and beverage industry, both deal activity and total transaction values significantly tapered off in H1 2022. The branded packaged goods segment led the food & beverage industry’s M&A activity by number of deals closed, accounting for 39.7% of deals closed in H1 2022. The beverage segment accounted for the second largest, at 32.8%.

H1 2022 M&A transactions by segment

Source: S&P Capital IQ and Baker Tilly Capital research (July 2022)
Note: Buyer was not disclosed on S&P Capital IQ.

Transactions by buyer

M&A activity in the food and beverage industry in H1 2022 was still largely drive by strategic buyers, including companies mostly owned by private equity investors. Strategic buyers were the most active by number of deals closed in H1 2022 for the food and beverage industry as they represented 81% of all closed transactions, while financial buyers only represented 10.3%.

H1 2022 M&A transactions by buyer type

Food & beverage H1 2022 M&A report - transactions by segment

Source: S&P Capital IQ and Baker Tilly Capital research (July 2022)
Note: Buyer was not disclosed on S&P Capital IQ.

Dig into our report

For an in-depth look at M&A activity in the food and beverage industry, download a copy of our food and beverage M&A update: H1 2022. The report includes:

  • M&A activity by market segment
  • Investment information, including revenue, stock, and forward-looking information
  • Highlights of agribusiness, beverage, natural/organic, and other market segments
  • Notable transactions closed during H1
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See more M&A reports

Baker Tilly Capital professionals develop mergers and acquisitions (M&A) updates in different industries and regions. These reports provide an overview of M&A activity, including:

  • M&A activity by market segment
  • Transaction data for middle market M&A activity
  • Buyers and targets by location
  • Notable transactions closed during the period of the report
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