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Food & Beverage

Industry Snapshot
Grant Thornton Corporate Finance Winter 2013

Food and beverage industry M&A snapshot: 2012 in review

Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLC (GTCF) is pleased to present its semiannual Food & Beverage Industry Snapshot. This edition contains commentary on key factors that affected the food and beverage industry in 2012, an overview of M&A trends and an analysis of industry stock market performance. This publication also highlights the market trends that continue to influence companies within the industry. Through offices in more than 100 countries worldwide, the partners and employees of Grant Thornton International Ltd member firms serve several hundred food and beverage industry clients, ranging from global conglomerates to middlemarket companies in all sectors of the industry. GTCF teams have advised on more than 50 food and beverage industry M&A transactions over the past three years.

Companies in the food and beverage industry generally had a strong year in 2012. M&A volume, aggregate value and transaction multiples were all up from 2011 as the economy improved and buyers remained active. The GTCF Food and Beverage Index outperformed the S&P 500 Index, and public company EBITDA multiples rose across all sectors. Companies also had their fair share of challenges, including the drought and subsequent rise of commodity prices. Further, the full impact of the drought will continue to weigh on prices through 2013. Continuing trends, such as changes in consumer tastes and a growing movement toward green packaging, remain important issues that also will alter the industry landscape.
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Contact information Brian Basil Director T 248.233.6930 E Erik Egerer Manager T 248.213.4227 E

Industry trends

Retail prices follow commodity prices upward in 2013 2012 was another volatile year for commodity prices (chart at right). Wheat, corn and soybean prices rose drastically in July as the well-publicized drought devastated major U.S. crop fields, cutting down on supply. Prices have since moderated, but remain above pre-July levels. Commodity price pressures affect retail prices, but it usually takes several months for price changes to flow through the supply chain to the consumer. Therefore, the commodity price increases in 2012 will likely impact the retail food and beverage prices in 2013. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the overall price of food and beverages will increase 3% to 4% in 2013, which is higher than the 2.5% increase in 2012. Demand for ethnic foods and flavors heats up The increase in demand for bolder, spicier ethnic foods could lead to increased M&A activity in the near future as companies augment their organic growth plans with acquisitions. U.S. companies have started gradually entering the market by expanding their product lines to include ethnic-flavored foods. One example is Campbell Soup Companys recent expansion of its soup line, which now includes flavors such as Coconut Curry, Jammin Jerk Chicken with Rice & Beans, Sweet Potato Tomatillo and Thai Tomato Coconut. These soups, as described by their names, all have ethnic influences. Another example is the recent launch by Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fastcasual company, of a Southeast Asian spinoff restaurant called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. This chain will follow the Chipotle service model with a focus on Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines. Flavor companies have also recognized the potential of ethnic foods and have been working to expand their offerings. For example, Flavorchem Corp., a food and beverage flavor solutions manufacturer, has been sending teams of researchers to Latin America to find new food trends from street vendors and shopping centers. The demand for ethnic foods is expected to remain strong because the millennial generation and the Latino population both drive growth. The millennial generation is well-traveled, has developed a diverse cultural palate and demands authentictasting ethnic foods. Their strong purchasing power has and will continue to compel food and beverage companies to cater to their needs. Hispanics will also drive industry growth through their demand for traditional Latino foods and their growing population in the U.S.

2012 Food and Beverage Commodity Price Index 1-Year Wheat












Source: International Monetary Fund.

A new type of greens in the food and beverage industry As consumers become more environmentally conscious, green packaging has become a major focus for food and beverage companies. Companies are now using more recycled materials, natural packaging and biodegradable plastics to package food and beverage products in their efforts to become more socially responsible. Coca-Cola has changed its packaging in a unique, innovative and ecofriendly way. It recently introduced the PlantBottle, a DuPont Packaging Award-winning sustainable bottle that is partially made of plant-based materials. By 2020, Coca-Cola hopes to package all of its plastic beverage products with the PlantBottle, which will reduce the equivalent consumption of 1.5 million barrels of oil per year. H.J. Heinz Co. is teamed up with Coca-Cola to use the PlantBottle for all of its 20-ounce ketchup containers. The green packing trend is expected to grow as companies continue seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
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As consumers become more environmentally conscious, green packaging has become a major focus for food and beverage companies.

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M&A activity

U.S. food and beverage transaction volume and aggregate value The number of announced U.S. M&A food and beverage transactions increased by 5.8% from 326 in 2011 to 345 in 2012 (chart below). This makes 2012 the best year for transactions by volume since the record-setting year of 2007. Aggregate deal value increased as well, growing to more than $20 billion in 2012. A scarcity of megadeals prevented aggregate value from growing to the 2007 and 2008 levels. No deals worth more than $10 billion took place, unlike in 2010, when there were three such transactions. Only one transaction, ConAgra Foods Inc.s purchase of Ralcorp Holdings Inc., broke through the $5 billion barrier. Business owners flocked to the transaction market in 2012 anticipating a capital gains tax increase of 5% and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-driven tax on investment income of 3.8%. Many tax-conscious business owners who were considering a transaction in the next couple of years made the decision to sell in 2012 rather than pay the additional 8.8% in taxes in 2013. These changes pushed deal volume up in 2012, which should lead to a lower supply of good deals in 2013. This low supply should, in turn, lead to a better pricing environment for sellers. A 10% increase in pricing would not be a surprise and would be more than enough to offset the additional taxes. Strategic buyers have record amounts of cash on hand and are looking to grow, often through acquisitions. Financial buyers have billions waiting to be deployed. Moreover, as the uncertainty in the market caused by the fiscal cliff and European financial crisis dissipates, buyers are probably going to be more willing to spend capital in pursuit of acquisitions. All of this points to a strong M&A market for sellers in 2013.
Food and beverage industry U.S. target transactions # Transactions
# Announced transactions 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 $20 $80

Food and beverage median EV/EBITDA multiples







0.0x 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Sources: GTCF research; certain financial information provided by S&P Capital IQ. .

F&B industry multiples Based on publicly disclosed data, median transaction EV/ EBITDA multiples grew from 7.2x in 2011 to 9.3x in 2012, reaching their highest levels since 2008 (chart above). This growth mirrored the increase in public company multiples, reflecting the overall health of the food and beverage industry.
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Deal value (dollars in billions)

Deal value (dollars in billions) $120





Sources: GTCF research; certain financial information provided by S&P Capital IQ.

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Announced date Nov. 27 Feb. 15 Jul. 9 Dec. 3 May 22 Oct. 17 Apr. 23 Aug. 27 Oct. 26 Sep.5

Target Ralcorp Holdings The Wimble Company (Pringles) Bolthouse Farms Morningstar Foods Lactalis American Group Jimmy Sanders White Rock Distilleries, Pinnacle Vodka And Calico Jack Rum Brands And Other Related Assets Shearers Foods North American Breweries Snack Factory, Princeton Vanguard, and VMG Snack Factory Blocker

Buyer ConAgra Foods Kellogg Company Campbell Soup Saputo Cheese USA Parmalat Belgium Pinnacle Operating Corp. Beam, Inc. Mistral Equity Partners; Ontario Teachers Pension Plan; Wind Point Partners Florida Ice and Farm Co. Snyders-Lance

Subsector Food products Food products Food products Food products Food products Food products Beverages Food products Beverages Food products

Enterprise value (millions of dollars) $6,734 $2,695 $1,550 $1,450 $926 $750 $605 $500 $388 $340

Sources: GTCF research; certain financial information provided by S&P Capital IQ.

Notable food and beverage transactions A few notable food and beverage transactions that occurred in 2012 are shown in table above. The largest M&A deal in the food and beverage industry in 2012 was ConAgras acquisition of private-label manufacturer Ralcorp. After its initial offers were rejected, ConAgra eventually sealed the deal to acquire Ralcorp for almost $7 billion (enterprise value) with intentions of expanding its private-label portfolio. In addition to Ralcorp, ConAgra has made several other acquisitions to strengthen its position in the private-label market. In May, it acquired Kangaroo Brands Inc.s private-label pita chips business, a big player in that market with annual revenue of more than $20 million. In late 2011, ConAgra also purchased private-label pretzel manufacturer National Pretzel Co. Inc., which has annual revenue of nearly $200 million. Another notable transaction in the private-label market was private equity firm Wind Point Partners $500 million acquisition of Ohio-based Shearers Foods Inc. Shearers, with nearly $200 million in revenue and more than 1,500 employees, is the largest private-label maker of salty snacks and kettle chips in North America. It also offers potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and salsas.

The second-largest M&A deal in the food and beverage space in 2012 was Kelloggs acquisition of The Wimble Company from Procter & Gamble for nearly $2.7 billion. The Wimble Company, mostly known for its Pringles chips line, generates nearly $1.5 billion in revenue and employs more than 1,600 people. The acquisition will expand Kelloggs brand portfolio in the snack sector.
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GTCF Food and Beverage Index The GTCF Food and Beverage Index (see chart below) reflects data from food and beverage industry participants that are broadly categorized as food processors, food distributors, food retailers and beverage companies. Public market information indicates that the GTCF Food and Beverage Index is up more than 50% from 2010 market prices, significantly outpacing the S&P 500. High-end health-food retailer Whole Foods Market, specialty-foods distributor United Natural Foods Inc. and beverage company Constellation Brands Inc. led the index with gains of over 45% each.

As indicated in the table below, public company EV/ EBITDA multiples across three of the four subcategories of the GTCF Food and Beverage Index increased from the previous year. The slight decrease for retailers is most likely from the commodity pricing increases, which could not be immediately passed along to consumers. On average, public company EV/EBITDA multiples increased from 10.2x in 2011 to 10.5x in 2012.
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GTCF Food and Beverage Index GTCF Food and Beverage Index
160% 150% 140% 130% 120% 110% 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Dec 2009 Mar June 2010 Sep Dec Mar June 2011 Sep Dec Mar June 2012 Sep Dec

S&P 500

Sources: Public company filings; certain financial information provided by S&P Capital IQ.

Public company comparables Average metrics Enterprise value (dollars in millions) $6,654 25,992 46,233 37,587 $29,117 Historical metrics

Category Food distributors Food retailers Food processors Beverage companies Average

% of 52-week high 83.8% 86.9% 88.0% 89.0% 86.9%

LTM EBITDA % 4.6% 13.8% 16.4% 23.9% 14.7%

EV/EBIT 11.8x 13.4x 16.5x 13.6x 13.8x

LTM EV/ EBITDA 8.7x 10.1x 11.2x 12.1x 10.5x

12/31/11 EV/EBITDA 8.5x 10.3x 10.8x 11.1x 10.2x

As of 12/31/2012. Sources: Public company filings; certain financial information provided by S&P Capital IQ.

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2013 outlook

The food and beverage industry had an eventful past year. Looking ahead, the changes in consumer preferences give some idea as to what 2013 may hold. Some companies will continue to push into the ecofriendly packaging sector while others will continue to scoop up high-margin private-label manufacturers. Moreover, increased interest in ethnic foods could spur M&A activity.

The M&A market should remain strong in 2013 with a better pricing environment for sellers. Some food and beverage business owners who were already looking to sell in the near future chose to sell in 2012 to avoid increased tax implications. This led to increased deal volume in 2012 and could mean a lower supply of good deals this year. However, since demand should stay strong as cash-flush financial and strategic buyers are looking for food and beverage acquisitions, the pricing environment for sellers is likely to improve. Moreover, as the uncertainty in the global economy subsides, business owners can be confident the time is right to sell their businesses, making it a strong overall M&A market for food and beverage companies.

Some companies will continue to push into the ecofriendly packaging sector while others will continue to scoop up highmargin, private-label manufacturers.

About Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLC Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLC provides boutique investment banking services to privately held middle-market businesses in the United States and around the world. As a recognized advisor on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, we offer a range of investment banking services including sell-side advisory, buy-side advisory, management buyouts, restructurings and capital raising. Grant Thornton LLP provides investment banking services through its wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. About Grant Thornton LLP The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest-quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. The factual statements and data from third-party sources contained herein are taken from sources believed to be reliable, but such statements are made without representation as to accuracy or completeness or otherwise. Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLC does not engage in the business of recommending or effecting transactions in securities. The above information is presented solely in connection with describing Grant Thornton Corporate Finance LLCs mergers and acquisitions services, and should not be considered as constituting a research report or as providing information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision. 2013 Grant Thornton LLP All rights reserved U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd

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