The following is a summary of the major acquisitions that occurred in the food and beverage industry in 2014.


  • Date: The date the buyer acquired the target or brand, as reported in public sources.
  • Price: The price paid for the company being acquired.
  • Buyer: The company that acquired the target or brand.
  • Target: The company or brand that was acquired. For example, if Ford Motor Company acquired Audi, Ford Motor Company is the buyer, Volkswagen is the seller, and the target is Audi.
  • Location: The location of the target (i.e., the company or brand that was acquired).
  • Seller: The company that owned the target company or brand that was acquired. For example, if Volkswagen sold Audi, Volkswagen is the seller, and the target is Audi.
  • Purpose: The primary reason the buyer acquired the target or brand.
  • Details: Specific details regarding the transaction, such as the form of consideration (e.g., cash, stock, notes, etc.) and/or any contingent payments (e.g., earnouts, etc.).

Food Manufacturing – General

Post Holdings, Inc. Acquired MFI Holding Corporation (Food Service)

Date:April 17, 2014
Price:$2.5 Billion
Buyer:Post Holdings, Inc. – A consumer packaged goods holding company that operates in the refrigerated, center-of-the-store, active nutrition, and private-label food categories.
Target:MFI Holding Corporation – A leading producer of value-added service solutions and food products across the retail, food service, and food ingredient channels.
Location:Minnesota, USA
Details:The deal for $2.5 billion was a cash-free and debt-free transaction.

Del Monte Pacific Limited Acquired Del Monte Corporation, Consumer Products Business (Food Producers) 

Date:February 18, 2014
Price:$1.6 Billion
Buyer:Del Monte Pacific Limited – One of America’s largest producers, distributors, and marketers of premium, high-quality branded food products in the retail market.
Target:Del Monte Corporation, Consumer Products Business – An U.S. food production and distribution company based in Walnut Creek, California.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:Nils Lommerin, Chief Executive Officer of DMFI, said, “This deal allows for complete focus on the strategic direction of the Del Monte brand, backed by a visionary and strategic parent in Del Monte Pacific, and positions us to capture significant growth opportunities as Del Monte Foods moves forward.”
Details:The consideration is subject to an adjustment based on the working capital level at closing, as provided in the purchase agreement. They will rename the business Del Monte Foods, Inc. (DMFI).

General Mills Inc. Acquired Annie’s Inc. (Organic and Natural Food Products)

Date:September 8, 2014 
Price:$820 Million
Buyer:General Mills Inc. – An American organic food company owned by General Mills. It was founded in Hampton, Connecticut, by Annie Withey and Andrew Martin, who previously founded Smartfood popcorn, along with Ken Meyers.
Target:Annie’s Inc. – A leading U.S. producer of branded organic and natural food products.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:Jeff Harmening, General Mills Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Retail, said, “This acquisition will significantly expand our presence in the U.S. branded organic and natural foods industry, where sales have been growing at a 12% compound rate over the last 10 years.”
Details:General Mills funded the acquisition through available credit. The transaction was accretive to the earnings of General Mills during the first 12 months following the completion, excluding specific purchase accounting adjustments, and transaction and integration expenses.

Ajinomoto North America, Inc. Acquired Windsor Quality Holdings, L.P (Frozen Food Manufacturer)

Date:September 10, 2014
Price:$800 Million
Buyer:Ajinomoto North America, Inc. – A Japanese global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals.
Target:Windsor Quality Holdings, L.P – A leading manufacturer and marketer of frozen ethnic foods and appetizers in North and Latin America.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:With this acquisition, Ajinomoto Co. aims to become the clear No. 1 manufacturer of Asian/ethnic food products in the surging Asian category of the North American frozen food market.
Details:Windsor had net sales of $670 million for fiscal 2013. 

Sucocitrico Cutrale Ltda; Banco Safra S.A., Investment Arm Acquired Chiquita Brands International Inc. (Banana Producer)

Date:August 14, 2014
Price:$610 Million
Buyer:Sucocitrico Cutrale Ltda; Banco Safra S.A., Investment Arm – A Brazilian company that produces oranges, orange juice, and orange by-products.
Target:Chiquita Brands International Inc. – A Swiss-domiciled American produce distributor, including bananas.
Location:North Carolina, USA
Details:The transaction was financed with equity Cutrale and Safra provided. The deal was subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence, definitive agreements, final board approval, and the termination of the Fyffes transaction agreement.

Balchem Corp. Acquired Performance Chemicals & Ingredients Company (Flavoring System)

Date:March 31, 2014
Price:$570 Million
Buyer:Balchem Corp. – Develops, manufactures, and sells specialty performance products and ingredients for the U.S. and international food, pharmaceutical, nutritional, feed, and medical sterilization industries.
Target:Performance Chemicals & Ingredients Company – A provider of powder, solid and liquid flavor systems, creamer, specialty emulsified powders, cereal-based products, and other functional food and beverage delivery systems.
Location:Missouri, USA
Purpose:The deal aims to create one of the most comprehensive global food ingredient solution companies.

ARYZTA AG Acquired Cloverhill Pastry-Vend LLC (Baked Goods)

Date:March 10, 2014
Price:€510 Million ($547 Million)
Buyer:ARYZTA AG – Produces baked sweet and savory goods and specialty bakery products.
Target:Cloverhill Pastry-Vend LLC – A baked goods manufacturer. 
Location:Illinois, USA
Details:The consideration is net of cash acquired of €3.34 million. Cloverhill Bakery and Pineridge Bakery had a combined revenue of €400 million in 2013. 

Milner Milling, Inc.; Pendleton Flour Mills, LLC Acquired Cereal Food Processors, Inc. (Milling Company)

Date:March 10, 2014 
Price:$500 Million
Buyer:Milner Milling, Inc.; Pendleton Flour Mills, LLC – Leaders in the flour milling industry.
Target:Cereal Food Processors, Inc. – America’s largest independent flour milling company and the fourth largest wheat miller in the United States.
Location:Oregon, USA
Purpose:The acquisition would nearly triple the combined size of Milner/PFM.
Details:Terms of the transaction, which will bring together some of the nation’s most prominent independent flour milling companies, were not disclosed. 

Hormel Foods Corp. Acquired CytoSport Holdings Inc. (Food Supplements)

Date:July 30, 2014 
Price:$450 Million
Buyer:Hormel Foods Corp. – A U.S. food processing company founded in Austin, Minnesota, in 1891, by George A. Hormel, named initially George A. Hormel & Company.
Target:CytoSport Holdings Inc. – An American manufacturer of food supplements and sports-oriented nutritional products headquartered in Benicia, California.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:The acquisition will serve as a growth catalyst for the company’s specialty foods segment and also expands its offerings of portable, immediate, protein-rich foods.
Details:Hormel Foods expects this acquisition to provide about 5 cents per share accretion in fiscal 2015, with a neutral impact on fiscal 2014 earnings, including transaction costs.

The Hillshire Brands Co. Acquired Van’s Natural Foods (Breakfast and Snack Foods)

Date:April 24, 2014 
Price:$165 Million 
Buyer:The Hillshire Brands Co. – An American food company based in Chicago, Illinois.
Target:Van’s Natural Foods – Manufactures and supplies food products.
Location:Arizona, USA
Purpose: “The Van’s brand is a terrific addition to our portfolio,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of the Hillshire Brands Co. He added, “Not only does it expand our presence in the frozen category, but it also gives us a proven health and wellness brand with extendibility beyond frozen.” 
Details:According to Hillshire Brands, the revenues for Van’s Natural Foods were expected to reach $60 million in 2014.

The Southern California Egg Cooperative, Inc. Acquired Moark, LLC (Fresh Shell Eggs)

Date:May 23, 2014
Price:Undisclosed Amount 
Buyer:The Southern California Egg Cooperative, Inc. – Consists of multi-generation family-owned farms that provide nutritious, high-quality farm-fresh eggs daily to Californians.
Target:Moark, LLC – Produces, processes, and distributes fresh shell eggs for retail and food service customers. 
Location:Connecticut, USA
Purpose:“This acquisition puts us in a direct connection between the farms and the purchasers of our eggs,’’ said Jim Van Gorkom, vice president of sales and marketing for SCEC.
Details:The business will continue operating from Fontana’s office and distribution center.

Food Manufacturing – Snacks

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG Acquired Russell Stover Candies, Inc. (Candies and Confections)

Date:July 14, 2014
Price:$880 Million
Buyer:Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG – A Swiss confectionery company and chocolatier founded in 1845, famous for its chocolate bars and chocolate truffles.
Target:Russell Stover Candies, Inc. – Founded in 1923 by an American chemist and his wife, Clara Stover, a supplier of chocolate, candy, and confections.
Location:Missouri, USA 
Purpose:“This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprüngli’s history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business and will greatly enhance the group’s status in the world’s biggest overall chocolate marketplace,” said Ernst Tanner, the Lindt chairman.
Details:The transaction is expected to make a strong positive contribution to the earnings per share of Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli from 2015 onwards.

TreeHouse Foods Acquired Flagstone Foods (Healthy Snacks)

Date:June 30, 2014
Price:$860 Million
Buyer:TreeHouse Foods – A multinational food processing company specializing in private-label packaged foods based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Target:Flagstone Foods – The leading provider of private-label healthy snacks.
Location:Minnesota, USA
Purpose:“We are extremely enthusiastic about the acquisition of Flagstone Foods,” said Sam K. Reed, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of TreeHouse Foods. He added, “Flagstone Foods is ideally situated at the intersection of health and wellness, snacking and the perimeter of the store, and represents an attractive new platform for TreeHouse to enter the on-trend, rapidly growing $7.1 billion healthy snacks category.”
Details:TreeHouse agreed to pay Gryphon investors and other shareholders $860 million cash for the business, subject to an adjustment for working capital.

Cargill, Incorporated Acquired Archer Daniels Midland Company’s Global Chocolate Business (Chocolate Food Processing)

Date:September 2, 2014 
Price:$440 Million 
Buyer:Cargill, Incorporated – A privately held U.S. global food corporation headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware.
Target:Archer Daniels Midland Company, Global Chocolate Business – An American multinational commodities trading and food processing corporation founded in 1902 and based in Chicago, Illinois.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:To help increase productivity and extend Cargill’s reach in North America, Asia, Brazil, and Europe.
Details:The transaction included ADM’s three North American chocolate plants in Milwaukee, Hazleton, and Georgetown and three European chocolate plants in Liverpool, Manage, and Mannheim.

Shearer’s Foods, Inc. and Nalley’s Canada Limited Acquired S-L Snacks Private Brands, LLC and Tamming Foods Ltd. (Snacks Cookies and Crackers)

Date:May 7, 2014
Price:$430 Million
Buyer:Shearer’s Foods, Inc. and Nalley’s Canada Limited – An award-winning private brand and contract manufacturer with capabilities across the salty snack, cookie, and cracker categories.
Target:S-L Snacks Private Brands, LLC and Tamming Foods Ltd. – Provider of snacks, including cookies, crackers, pretzels, sandwich crackers, potato chips, tortilla chips, and nuts.
Location:Iowa, USA
Details:The sale of the private brands was completed for a net cash purchase price of $430 million, subject to post-closing purchase price adjustments.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Olam International Limited Acquired Archer-Daniels-Midland’s Cocoa Business Company (Cocoa Business)

Date:December 15, 2014
Price:$1.2 Billion 
Buyer:Olam International Limited – A major agri-business and food company present in 60 countries supplying industrial raw materials and food to 20,900+ customers worldwide.
Target:Archer-Daniels-Midland Company’s Cocoa Business – Known as ADM, an American multinational commodities trading and food processing corporation founded in 1902 and based in Chicago, Illinois.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:“We want to be focused on the cocoa products market and supplying the chocolate industry and cocoa powder users, and not set ourselves up in competition with chocolate manufacturers,” said Gerry Manley, Olam’s Head of Cocoa. 
Details:The transaction will add to Olam’s earnings and be free cash flow positive in the first full year after closing, although it will see cash flow turn negative and gearing pick up in the short term.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. Acquired Mighty Leaf Tea (Blended Teas)

Date:August 1, 2014
Price:Undisclosed Amount 
Buyer:Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. – A specialty coffee roaster and retailer owned by JAB Holding Company via JDE Peet’s headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
Target:Mighty Leaf Tea – A San Rafael, California-based operation specializing in artisan and blended teas. 
Location:California, USA
Purpose:“We’re excited to add Mighty Leaf Tea to the Peet’s family as we’re both Bay Area companies with core values built on the highest standards of quality and deep commitment to craft – it’s a natural, complementary fit,” said Dave Burwick, President, and CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
Details:Mighty Leaf Tea will operate independently and have full access to Peet’s capabilities, resources, and scale. In addition, Peet’s will produce and market its own signature tea brand throughout its retail and food service channels. 


Tyson Foods, Inc. Acquired The Hillshire Brands Company (Meat-Centric Food Processing)

Date:May 29, 2014
Price:$6.1 Billion
Buyer:Tyson Foods, Inc. – A U.S. multinational corporation with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, that operates in the food industry.
Target:The Hillshire Brands Company – An American food company based in Chicago, Illinois.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:To position Tyson Foods as a clear leader in the prepared foods business.
Details:As of August 2014, all shares of Hillshire Brands common stock were delisted and ceased trading on the Chicago Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.

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