2015: M&A Acquisition Activity

The following is a summary of the major acquisitions that occurred in the food and beverage industry in 2015.


  • 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 M&A – General

H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation Acquired Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (Food Manufacturer)

Date:March 25, 2015
Price:$45 Billion
Buyer:H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation – A multinational food company formed by merging Heinz and Kraft Foods, co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and Chicago.
Target:Kraft Foods Group, Inc. – An American food processing and manufacturing conglomerate that split from Kraft Foods Inc.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:The combination of these prominent food companies brings together two portfolios of beloved brands, including Kraft, Heinz, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, and Philadelphia. The two brand portfolios will offer substantial opportunities for synergies, resulting in enhanced investments in innovation and marketing. The new company will have eight $1+ billion brands and five brands valued from $500 million to $1 billion.
Details:Heinz shareholders received a 51% stake on a fully diluted basis, and Kraft shareholders got a 49% stake in the combined company. Each share of Kraft was converted into one share of The Kraft Heinz Company.

Sunoco LP Acquired Susser Holdings Corporation (Packaged Food)

Date:July 31, 2015
Price:$1.9 Billion 
Buyer:Sunoco LP – A master limited partnership (MLP) that mainly distributes motor fuel to independent dealers, convenience stores, distributors, and commercial customers.
Target:Susser Holdings Corporation – Offers merchandise, packaged food, automobile fuel, and other services.
Location:Texas, USA
Purpose:For SUN, adding significant size and scale will deliver new organic growth opportunities and enhance its ability to focus on a broad range of third-party acquisition opportunities. 
Details:Under the terms, Sunoco will pay approximately $966.86 million in cash and issue approximately 21.98 million Sunoco units. 

Post Holdings, Inc. Acquired MOM Brands Company (Breakfast Cereal)

Date: January 26, 2015 
Price:$1.2 Billion
Buyer:Post Holdings, Inc. – A U.S. consumer packaged goods holding company based in St Louis, Missouri.
Target:MOM Brands Company – An American producer of breakfast cereals headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota.
Location:Minnesota, USA‎
Purpose:Post and MOM Brands will become the third-largest provider of ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal with a diverse portfolio of complementary RTE and hot cereal products.
Details:Under the terms of the agreement, at closing, Post Holdings will pay $1.05 billion in cash and issue the current owners of MOM Brands approximately $2.45 million shares of Post Holdings common stock. 

SunOpta Inc. Acquired Sunrise Growers, Inc. (Fruit Processing)

Date:July, 31, 2015
Price:$444 Million
Buyer:SunOpta Inc. – A Toronto-based firm focused on organic, non-genetically modified, and specialty foods.
Target:Sunrise Growers, Inc. – Operates as a fruit processing company. The company offers frozen, organic, and traditional fruits and related products.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:The acquisition of Sunrise Holdings (Delaware), also known as Sunrise Growers, will complement SunOpta’s existing frozen fruit and ingredient processing operations, further its global sourcing network, and help achieve operational efficiencies by leveraging the strengths of both organizations.
Details:SunOpta funded the acquisition through proceeds from an offering of $100m worth of common shares, issued on 30 September, and a $330m second lien loan, along with other borrowings under its existing credit facilities.

B&G Foods Inc. Acquired Mama Mary’s (Pizza Crust Brand)

Date:July 13, 2015
Price:$50 Million
Buyer:B&G Foods Inc. – Manufactures and distributes a diversified portfolio of high-quality, branded, shelf-stable foods in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Target:Spartan Foods of America Inc., dba Mama Mary’s Gourmet Pizza – Mama Mary’s Gourmet Pizza Crusts offer families a home-baked experience unmatched by frozen or delivery pizza. 
Location:South Carolina, USA
Seller:Linsalata Capital Partners
Purpose:Robert C. Cantwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&G Foods, stated, “The Mama Mary’s brand complements very well our existing portfolio of brands, including our Don Pepino pizza sauce. And, consistent with our acquisition strategy, we expect the acquisition to be immediately accretive to our earnings per share and free cash flow.”
Details:B&G Foods funded the acquisition and will pay related fees and expenses with cash on hand. Duff & Phelps served as the investment banking advisor to Linsalata Capital Partners.

North Castle Partners Acquired Sprout Organic Foods Inc.(Baby Food)

Date:July 2, 2015
Price:Undisclosed Amount 
Buyer:North Castle Partners – A private equity firm. 
Target:Sprout Organic Foods Inc. – Producers of baby food and other products, including vegetables, fruits, proteins, and grains.
Location:New Jersey, USA
Purpose:“We are excited about the Sprout acquisition as our latest Nutrition platform that addresses the needs of today’s consumers. The organic baby food category is an attractive market with strong underlying fundamentals. Sprout is a strong brand that resonates with retailers and consumers, with a product portfolio that has meaningful competitive differentiation,” said Alison Minter, North Castle Managing Director.
Details:This transaction represents North Castle Partners’ fourth investment in the natural and organic nutrition sector. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Food Manufacturing M&A – Snacks

Permira Acquired Medora Snacks LLC and Ideal Snacks Holding Corporation (Whole Grain and Popped Snacks)

Date:July 1, 2015
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Permira – An international private equity firm. 
Target:Medora Snacks LLC and Ideal Snacks Holding Corp. – Medora is the manufacturer of PopCorners and Ideal is a contract manufacturer of popped snacks based in New York.
Location:New York, USA
Purpose:To combine Medora and Ideal under a single holding company called BFY Holdings I, LLC (“BFY Holdings”). BFY Holdings plans to be the leader in the better-for-you snack product category.
Details:The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages M&A

Vitaligent LLC Acquired Jamba Inc. (Juices and Smoothies)

Date:July 29, 2015 
Price:$36 Million 
Buyer:Vitaligent LLC – A holding company that promotes health and happiness.
Target:Jamba Inc. – With 100 company units in California, it offers smoothies, juices, and specialty food at its outlets. 
Location:California, USA
Purpose:“Vitaligent shares our vision for continued growth in serving communities where Jamba’s premium, handcrafted blends complement the active lifestyles of consumers,” said Dave Pace, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jamba, Inc. He continued, “Vitaligent’s excellence in operations and their passion for inspiring and simplifying healthy living have been fundamental to their success in growing the Jamba brand.” 
Details:This agreement increased Vitaligent’s operation to 100 stores across California, Missouri, and Washington. Vitaligent committed to a 12-store development agreement for the Seattle market, which they will complete over five years. 

Symrise, Inc. Acquired Flavor Infusion, LLC

Date:June 9, 2015
Price:Undisclosed Amount 
Buyer:Symrise, Inc. – A global supplier of fragrances, active cosmetic ingredients, flavorings, raw materials, and functional ingredients.
Target:Flavor Infusion, LLC – Produces natural, organic, and artificial flavors for the food and beverage industry.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:To consolidate Symrise’s top position in the global flavors market and promote its ability to compete in the beverage and flavored waters categories. 
Details:The acquisition met all criteria of its M&A strategy and provided immediate value to Symrise.

Blue Bottle Coffee Acquired Perfect Coffee (Pre-Ground Coffee System)

Date:February 26, 2015
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Hormel Foods – A U.S. food processing company founded in Austin, Minnesota, in 1891, by George A. Hormel as George A. Hormel & Company. 
Target:Justin’s, LLC – An American brand of organic and natural peanut butter cups and nut butter.
Location:Colorado, USA
Purpose: “I am pleased to welcome Justin’s into the Hormel Foods family,” said James P. Snee, president, and chief operating officer of Hormel Foods. He added, “We are excited to work together with Justin’s team to bring these great products to even more consumers, leveraging key Hormel Foods resources to drive continued innovation and growth to this on-trend category.” 
Details:Justin’s will operate out of their office in Boulder, Colorado, as a subsidiary of the company’s grocery products segment. HT Capital Advisors served as advisors to Hormel Foods. Justin’s was advised exclusively by Piper Jaffray & Co.

Meat M&A

JBS Acquired Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation (Meat and Food Distributor)

Date:July 2, 2015
Price:$1.5 Billion
Buyer:JBS USA Pork – A prominent global food company with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and the UK.
Target:Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation – A subsidiary of the Minneapolis-based multinational agribusiness giant, Cargill Inc, that comprises Cargill’s North American turkey, beef, food service, and food distribution businesses.
Location:Kansas, USA
Purpose:The company said the acquisition would enable JBS to meet the growing global demand for innovative and high-quality fresh and frozen pork products.
Details:JBS takes control of two midwest processing plants in Iowa and Illinois, including five feed mills and four hog farms.

Dairy M&A

Wind Point Partners Acquired Gehl Foods (Dairy-Based Products)

Date:March 27, 2015 
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Wind Point Partners – A U.S. private equity firm focusing on leveraged buyouts and growth capital investments in middle-market companies.
Target:Gehl Foods – A leading manufacturer of shelf-stable, dairy-based products, including cheese sauces. 
Location:Wisconsin, USA
Purpose:Wind Point’s value creation plan included leveraging Gehl’s reputation for innovation, national footprint, and manufacturing capabilities to develop new customer relationships, expand distribution, and broaden its product and service offering.
Details:The terms of the transaction were undisclosed. 

Restaurants M&A

Centre Lane Partners LLC Acquired Saladworks (Salad Chain Restaurant)

Date:June 15, 2015
Price:$16.9 Million
Buyer:Centre Lane Partners LLC – A private investment firm that invests in the debt and equity of middle-market companies in North America.
Target:Saladworks – A restaurant franchise that serves made-to-order entrée salads, wraps, soups, and sandwiches.
Location:New Jersey, USA
Purpose:“We’re proud to be affiliated with Centre Lane, a private equity firm known for aligning itself with businesses that hold the lead market positions in their categories and offer strong growth potential,” said Paul Steck, President, and CEO, Saladworks.
Details:The acquisition came after a four-month search for a buyer after Saladworks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in February 2015.

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