2021: M&A Acquisition Activity

The following is a summary of the major acquisitions that occurred in the food and beverage industry in 2021.

Legend

  • 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

The Hershey Company Acquired Dot’s Pretzels & Pretzels Inc. (Pretzel Snacks)

Date:December 14, 2021
Price:$1.2 Billion
Buyer:The Hershey Company – One of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, Hershey is an American multinational company.
Target:Dot’s Pretzels & Pretzels Inc. – Dot created her special family snack many years ago in her home kitchen. Dot’s is a family-owned business and a proud member of the Pride of Dakota Brand.
Location:North Dakota, USA
Purpose:Dot’s Pretzels & Pretzels Inc. will add the fastest-growing U.S. pretzel brand to Hershey’s snacking portfolio. Dot’s represents 55% of the pretzel industry’s growth during 2021. Acquiring Pretzels Inc. will ensure the growth of Dot’s by bringing the pretzel manufacturing capability in-house with Hershey’s expertise to develop future snacking innovations.
Details:The Hershey Company acquired Dot’s Pretzels & Pretzels Inc. for $1.2 billion.

Ardian Acquired Florida Food Products Inc. (Food Manufacturing)

Date:September 21, 2021
Price:$1 Billion
Buyer:Ardian – A France-based, independent private equity investment company.
Target:Florida Food Products Inc. – The leading formulator, innovator, and producer of fruit and vegetable-based clean-label ingredients.
Location:Florida, USA
Purpose:After the deal, the stakeholders plan to build on FFP’s capabilities in its core markets, explore new “direct adjacencies,” and grow the business globally.
Details:Ardian acquired a majority stake in Florida Food Products via its U.S. buyout team with MidOcean Partners for an enterprise value of over $1 billion. Initially, MidOcean invested in the business back in 2018, so it will retain a major stake in FFP with Ardian. Additional terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

Catalent Pharma Solutions Acquired Bettera Holdings (Gummy and Vitamins)

Date:August 29, 2021
Price:$1 Billion
Buyer:Catalent Pharma Solutions – A global provider of development and delivery technologies, drug manufacturing, gene therapies, biologics, and consumer health products.
Target:Bettera Holdings – Using confection products as alternative delivery systems for vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
Location:Texas, USA
Purpose:The Bettera acquisition allows Catalent to expand its offerings in consumer healthcare.
Details:The operating company expects to finance the Bettera Acquisition and related costs, fees, and expenses with cash on hand, existing credit facilities, and, depending on market conditions, new debt financing.

FGF Brand Acquired Weston Foods Fresh and Frozen Bakery (Bakery)

Date:December 10, 2021
Price:$1.2 Billion Canadian ($970.6 Million)
Buyer:FGF Brand – A Canadian, family-owned baking company that develops innovations in AI systems, robotics, and supply chain solutions with a focus on producing quality food using the cleanest possible ingredients.
Target:Weston Foods Fresh and Frozen Bakery – A North American manufacturer providing food service and retail customers with packaged fresh rolls, bread, and alternatives, as well as artisan and frozen rolls, bread, cakes, donuts, and pies.
Location:Ontario, Canada
Purpose:Tejus Ajmera, co-founder of FGF, said, “And we look forward to building on that legacy by investing in people, facilities, and innovation across our entire operations, in collaboration with Weston Foods president Luc Mongeau and his team.”
Details:FGF’s acquisition included the fresh and frozen bakery businesses that made up approximately 75% of Weston Foods’ net sales in 2020. It did not include cookies, crackers, cones, and wafers, which George Weston said FGF continues to plan to offer.

Saputo Acquired Carolina Aseptic and Carolina Dairy (Food, Beverages, and Dairy)

Date:September 1, 2021
Price:$118 Million
Buyer:Saputo Inc. – A Canadian dairy company founded in 1954 by the Saputo family and based in Montreal, Quebec.
Target:Carolina Aseptic and Carolina Dairy – Carolina Aseptic manufactures, develops, packages, and distributes aseptic shelf-stable food products and beverages, including refrigerated yogurt in spouted pouches.
Location:North Carolina, USA
Purpose:The acquisition of the business allows Saputo to meet the growing demand for nutritional snacks and aseptic protein beverages.
Details:The acquisition for $118 million was on a debt and cash-free basis.

Olam Americas, Inc. Acquired Chili Pepper Business of Mizkan America Inc. (Chili Pepper and Ingredient Solutions)

Date:February 4, 2021
Price:$108.5 million
Buyer:Olam Americas, Inc.
Target:Chili Pepper Business (CPB) – Chili pepper, paprika, and chili powder business of Mizkan America Inc.
Location:Aichi, Japan
Seller:Mizkan America Inc. – A Japanese company that produces mustard, vinegar, salad dressing, nattō, authentic East Asian sauces, and other food products based in Handa, Aichi Prefecture, near Nagoya.
Purpose:Olam Spices CEO Greg Estep said, “We are further pleased that in operating CPB, Mizkan shares the same focus on sustainable agriculture and quality control, maintaining close farmer relationships and fully integrated supply chains. This also allows Olam Spices to strengthen and expand our Chile sourcing network — notably in Hatch Valley, New Mexico. With the CPB senior executive leadership at the helm, supported by an outstanding group of employees committed to excellence, we will continue to grow the business even further.”
Details:Olam Americas, Inc. acquired CPB for $108.5 million, including an estimated net working capital of $55 million, subject to a net working capital adjustment at closing.

Universal Corporation Acquired Shank’s Extracts (Flavoring and Food)

Date:September 6, 2021
Price:$100 Million
Buyer:Universal Corporation – One of the world’s leading tobacco merchants.
Target:Shank’s Extracts – A privately held specialty food, ingredient, and flavoring company with packaging and bottling capabilities.
Location:Pennsylvania, USA
Purpose:The acquisition expanded Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform, adding to the company’s product offerings and growing the value-added services available to its customers by adding flavors, custom packaging and bottling, and product development capabilities.
Details:After the closing, Shank’s became a part of Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform, including FruitSmart, Inc. and Silva International, Inc.

Tattooed Chef, Inc. Acquired Food of New Mexico Distributors, Inc. (Mexican Food Products)

Date:May 3, 2021
Price:$37 Million
Buyer:Tattooed Chef, Inc. – A plant-based food company that produces a wide portfolio of plant-based food products that are sustainably sourced and taste great.
Target:Food of New Mexico Distributors, Inc. – Distributes Mexican food products and offers full farm-to-package crop integration.
Location:New Mexico, USA
Purpose:This acquisition expanded Tattooed Chef’s manufacturing capabilities, enhanced its production capacity, and facilitated the company’s expansion from frozen foods to ambient products.
Details:The transaction was subject to a customary adjustment based on inventory at closing.

Tribe 9 Foods LLC Acquired Carla’s Pasta (Premium Italian Pasta)

Date:April 30, 2021
Price:$26.3 Million
Buyer:Tribe 9 Foods LLC – A U.S. pasta and peanut butter producer.
Target:Carla’s Pasta – A leading manufacturer of premium Italian food products, including pasta, sauces, and appetizers for branded and private label retail, food service distributors, and restaurants.
Location:Connecticut, USA
Purpose:Tribe 9, owner of the gluten-free pasta brand Taste Republic, reported that with this deal, it plans to become the largest producer of value-added pasta in the food service sector.
Details:The deal was completed through a bankruptcy auction.

Utz Quality Foods, LLC Acquired Vitner’s Snack Food Brand (Snack Foods)

Date:January 11, 2021
Price:$25 Million
Buyer:Utz Quality Foods, LLC – A leading U.S. manufacturer of branded salty snacks.
Target:Vitner’s Snack Food Brand– The top brand of snack foods in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:Established in 1926, Vitner’s is an established brand in the Chicago area. With approximately 55 DSD routes, it gives Utz a strong foothold in the Midwest and Chicago from which to expand the presence of its famous brands, which include Utz, On The Border, Golden Flake, Zapp’s, Good Health, Hawaiian Brand, Boulder Canyon, and Tortiyahs.
Details:The acquired assets included intellectual property, the direct-store-delivery (DSD) distribution assets related to Vitner’s branded products, and the VITNER’S® trademark.

Taylor Farm Acquired Fresh Packaged Salads and Vegetables Business of Curation Foods (Plant-Based Foods)

Date:December 13, 2021
Price:$3.5 Million
Buyer:Taylor Farms Retail – An American-based producer of fresh-cut vegetables and fruit. Taylor Farms was founded by former Fresh Express (now Chiquita) founder and CEO Bruce Taylor in 1995.
Target:Fresh Packaged Salads and Vegetables Business.
Location:California, USA
Seller:Curation Foods – An innovative natural foods company consisting of a broad portfolio of five 100% clean ingredient brands
Purpose:The purchase of Curation Foods’ packaged vegetable and salad business helps Taylor Farms meet the growing demand for prepared and chopped fresh produce.
Details:The deal included the Eat Smart brand, as well as the production facilities in California, Bowling Green, Ohio, and Guadalupe.

TA Associates Acquired Nactarome Group (Food & Beverage)

Date:November 24, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:TA Associates – Private equity firm.
Target:Nactarome – Nactarome develops and manufactures natural flavors, colors, and functional ingredients for the food and beverage industry.
Location:Milan, Italy
Seller:Ambienta SGR – Europe’s largest sustainability-focused private equity investor.
Purpose:TA Associates plans to develop Nactarome in new geographies, markets, and technologies.
Details:TA will be the major shareholder, working closely with Nactarome’s Management Team, who will retain a minority equity stake.

Bain Capital Acquired Dessert Holding (Dessert)

Date:April 26, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Bain Capital Private Equity – Based in Boston, Bain is an American private investment firm specializing in private and public equity, venture capital, credit, impact investing, real estate, and life sciences.
Target:Dessert Holdings – North America’s leading premium dessert company, which provides food service and retail customers with desserts.
Location:Minnesota, USA
Purpose:The deal was made for an undisclosed amount and will enable Dessert Holdings to accelerate its expansion and growth.
Details:Dessert Holdings will keep operating under its current management team and Chief Executive Officer Paul Lapadat. Financial terms of the private purchase from current owner Gryphon Investors were undisclosed.

Bake’n Joy Food Acquired Haverhill L&M Bakery (Bakery)

Date:August 2, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Bake’n Joy Foods – Provides pre-deposited batters for muffins, cakes, and loaves, premium bases and mixes, frozen scoop batters and doughs, pre-portioned cookie doughs, toppings, fillings, and fully baked Boston Coffee Cake brand products.
Target:Haverhill L&M Bakery – Produces and provides high-quality baked loaf cakes, fruit squares, and various other products to retail outlets and supermarkets.
Location:Massachusetts, USA
Purpose:“Similar to our purchase of Boston Coffee Cake in 2009, this acquisition brings another iconic New England bakery manufacturer to Bake’n Joy Foods and allows us to provide our customers with a wider variety of bakery solutions,” said Bake’n Joy President and CEO Bob Ogan.

Food Manufacturing M&A – Snacks

The Hain Celestial Group Acquired That’s How We Roll (Snacks)

Date:December 13, 2021
Price:$260 Million
Buyer:The Hain Celestial Group – A leading natural and organic products company operating in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Target:That’s How We Roll – Offers food products such as cookies, chips, and other snack products.
Location:New Jersey, USA
Seller:Better For You Holdings – A holding company that identifies investments in current health, wellness, and food trends.
Purpose:The purchase solidifies Hain’s position in the snacking niche and establishes it as a global, high-growth, healthy food company.
Details:The full purchase price was financed with borrowings under Hain’s revolving credit facility.

Laird Superfood Inc. Acquired Picky Bars, LLC (Healthy Food Snacks)

Date:May 4, 2021
Price:$12 Million
Buyer:Laird Superfood Inc.
Target:Picky Bars, LLC – Innovators in the healthy snack industry focused on nutritionally balanced, real-food products to fuel performance
Location:Oregon, USA
Purpose:The transaction was aligned with Laird Superfood’s strategic goals, specifically the addition of unique and innovative daily-use products across the company’s omnichannel platform and the acquisition of highly complementary assets, such as a recurring direct-to-consumer customer base.
Details:The transaction closed simultaneously with execution. The transaction amounted to an acquisition multiple of approximately 1.2x the estimated 2022 revenue.

The Very Good Food Acquired The Cultured Nut (Vegan Cheese and Nut Producer)

Date:February 24, 2021
Price:$3 Million Canadian ($2.3 Million)
Buyer:The Very Good Food Co. – A Canadian meat-alternative company.
Target:The Cultured Nut – A highly popular vegan artisan cheese producer on Canada’s West Coast with a current sales distribution in several grocery and online retailers, including select Whole Foods stores.
Location:British Columbia, Canada
Purpose:Very Good Food stated that the move was the “next natural step towards achieving our near-term objective of being a leader in the plant-based food technology industry.”
Details:VERY finalized the acquisition under a share purchase agreement with Cultured Nut shareholders for an aggregate purchase price of $3 million Canadian. The transaction also included a cash portion of $2 million Canadian, of which $1 million Canadian is contingent on achieving certain milestones pertaining to the integration of the Cultured Nut’s business over a year.

S-Ventures Acquired We Love Purely (Snacks)

Date:January 22, 2021
Price:£1.5 Million
Buyer:S-Ventures PLC – Operates as an investment firm.
Target:We Love Purely – Purely is a healthy snacking brand that offers a premium plantain crisp product, Purely Plantain Chips, in the UK and specific international markets.
Location:England, UK
Details:S-Venture acquired a 75.1% interest in We Love Purely Limited through the issue of £1.529 million ordinary shares in S-Ventures, equaling approximately £137,600 at a price of 9p per share to Purely shareholders, along with a cash payment of £30,000 to repay an outstanding Purely shareholder loan.

Online M&A

Just Eat Takeaway Acquired Grubhub (Online Food Ordering and Delivery)

Date:June 15, 2021
Price:$7.3 Billion
Buyer:Just Eat Takeaway – A Dutch multinational online food ordering and delivery company formed from the merger of Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com and London-based Just Eat in 2020.
Target:Grubhub Inc. – Founded in 2004, Grubhub is a mobile and online prepared food ordering and delivery platform in America based in Chicago, Illinois.
Location:Illinois, USA
Purpose:The transaction signified Just Eat Takeaway.com’s entry into the online food delivery industry in the U.S. and built on the strategic rationale for the company’s merger with Just Eat plc. Details: In an all-share combination, Just Eat acquired 100% of the shares of Grubhub.

Beverages M&A

The Coca-Cola Company Acquired BodyArmor Sports Nutrition (Sports Drinks)

Date:November 1, 2021
Price:$5.6 Billion
Buyer:The Coca-Cola Company – An American multinational beverage corporation founded in 1892, is famously known for producing Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company also sells, manufactures, and markets other non-alcoholic beverage syrups and concentrates as well as alcoholic beverages.
Target:BodyArmor (BA) Sports Nutrition – Headquartered in Queens, New York, BA Sports Nutrition is an American sports drink that is a fully-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company.
Location:New York, USA
Purpose:The transaction helps grow Coca-Cola’s brand portfolio in the sports drink category. BA has surpassed Coca-Cola’s Powerade to become the second-largest beverage in the sports drink sector.
Details:The Coca-Cola Company acquired BA Sports Nutrition on November 1, 2021. The Coca-Cola Company acquired the remaining 85% stake in BodyArmor Sports Nutrition for $5.6 Billion. Previously in 2018, Coca-Cola bought a 15% stake to become BA’s second-largest shareholder. This transaction will be Coca-Cola’s largest acquisition to date.

Northeast Drinks Group LLC Acquired Vermont Hard Cider Company LLC (Hard Cider Maker)

Date:April 8, 2021
Price:$20 Million
Buyer:Northeast Drinks Group LLC – A privately owned holding company with members originally from the Northeast with vast experience in the beverage sector.
Target:Vermont Hard Cider Company LLC – A leading U.S. hard cider maker with a state-of-the-art cidery in Middlebury, Vermont.
Location:Vermont, USA
Purpose:“As we look to the future, we will continue our passion and focus on cider while also adjusting to consumer beverage trends with brands that we feel best to complement our current portfolio. It’s been great getting to know the Northeast Drinks Group, and I am really excited for what’s to come, and I’m happy to be part of it,” said Bridget Blacklock of Vermont Cider Company.
Details:Northeast Drinks Group is elated to bring the Vermont Hard Cider Company back to local ownership. The transaction was completed within 30 days, subject to approvals and customary closing conditions.

PAI Partners Acquired Tropicana (Juice Products)

Date:August 3, 2021
Price:$5.4 Million
Buyer:PAI Partners – A leading private equity firm with vast experience in the food and beverage space.
Target:Tropicana, Naked, and other select juice brands across North America from PepsiCo.
Location:Florida, USA
Seller:PepsiCo – An American multinational beverage, food, and snack corporation based in Harrison, New York.
Purpose:“We believe there is great growth potential to be realized through investments in product innovation, expansion into adjacent categories, and enhanced scale in branded juice,” said Frédéric Stévenin, Managing Partner at PAI.
Details:Although PepsiCo retained exclusive U.S. distribution rights, PAI is the majority shareholder of the transferred business.

Yooma Wellness Inc. Acquired Big Swig Inc. (Sparkling Water Beverages)

Date:October 1, 2021
Price:$2.5 Million
Buyer:Yooma Wellness Inc. – A vertically-integrated global wellness platform headquartered in Toronto, Canada, that develops and markets a portfolio of wellness brands.
Target:Big Swig, Inc. (“Big Swig”) – A seller of sparkling water beverages in the U.S.
Location:Austin, Texas
Purpose:The acquisition increases Yooma’s presence in retailers throughout the southern United States. In addition, it will add the Big Swig and Hard Swig brands to Yooma’s expanding portfolio, with opportunities to create new products in the wellness and CBD space, promoting a vertical integration with Yooma’s existing wellness platform.
Details:The transaction was implemented by a merger between Yooma Acquisition II Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yooma, and Big Swig under a merger agreement between the three parties in September 2021. After the closing, Big Swig’s former shareholders transferred their shares for common shares of Yooma because Big Swig is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yooma.

Tilray, Inc. Acquired Double Diamond Distillery LLC (Spirits and Distillery)

Date:December 7, 2021
Price:$120 Million
Buyer:Tilray, Inc. – An American cannabis-lifestyle, pharmaceutical, and packaged goods company based in New York City. Tilray also operates in Canada, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand, with expanding facilities in Portugal and Germany.
Target:Double Diamond Distillery LLC – A beverage manufacturing facility that crafts blended and distilled liquors.
Location:Colorado, USA
Purpose:The acquisition expands Tilray’s U.S. offerings into the on-trend spirits category.
Details:Tilray, Inc. completed the acquisition of Double Diamond Distillery LLC from Sababa Partners I LLC and others in December 2021. On January 11, 2022, Tilray issued 1,294,968 additional Class 2 common shares to the selling unitholders to meet its contractual obligations in connection with the Breckenridge Acquisition.

Sazerac Company Inc. Acquired Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy (Brandy)

Date:January 12, 2021
Price:$265 Million
Buyer:Sazerac Company Inc. – A privately held American alcoholic beverage company based in New Orleans, Louisiana with a head office in Louisville, Kentucky.
Target:Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy – This VS brandy is aged in oak a minimum of three years, one year longer than required for extra smoothness.
Location:New York, USA
Seller:Constellation Brands, Inc. – A leading beverage alcohol company.
Purpose:Constellation Brands president and CEO Bill Newlands said, “The closure of this sale concludes a series of transactions within our wine and spirits business designed to help accelerate revenue growth and operating margin performance by advancing our vision of building a winning portfolio of distinctive, higher-end brands.”
Details:The acquisition included the related inventory and interests in specific contracts to Sazerac for approximately $265 million, which was subject to post-closing adjustments.

Winery M&A

Treasury Wine Estates Acquired Frank Family Vineyards (Winery)

Date:November 18, 2021
Price:$315 Million
Buyer:Treasury Wine Estates – One of the world’s largest wine companies.
Target:Frank Family Vineyards – The producer of world-class Chardonnay and Cabernet from Napa Valley in a historic property that has been making wine since 1884.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:Treasury Wine Estates is placed to enhance the Frank Family Vineyards’ growth, given its leading luxury sales credentials, national distribution network, and access to exceptionally high-quality vineyards.
Details:The deal included the Frank Family tasting room in Calistoga, the Benjamin Vineyard in Rutherford, the S&J Vineyard in Capell Valley, and a portfolio of wines with retail price points ranging from $38 to $225 per bottle. 

Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. Acquired Kunde Enterprise, Inc. (Winery)

Date:April 19, 2021
Price:$53.1 Million
Buyer:Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. – A family of independent wineries and producers with a focus on producing the highest quality wines.
Target:Kunde Enterprise, Inc. – A producer and supplier of varietal wines that innovates wines in their vineyards and wineries while maintaining sustainable wine growing and preserving the land for future generations.
Location:California, USA
Details:The transaction was funded by Vintage Wine Estates, Inc.’s line of credit and delayed draw term loan. The transaction closed in May 2021. 

Sycamore Partners Acquired Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (Winery)

Date:October 1, 2021
Price:$1.2 Million 
Buyer:Sycamore Partners – A private equity firm specializing in consumer and retail investments based in New York.
Target:Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. – A collection of distinctive wine estates that fully explores the unique growing conditions and individual winemaking practices to give the wines from each estate their extraordinary character.
Location:Washington, USA
Purpose:“We look forward to working with the team at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates to build on its position as the largest wine company in the Pacific Northwest and third-largest premium wine company in the U.S.,” said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director at Sycamore Partners. 
Details:The transaction marked the sale of one of the largest wine producers in America. 

Packaging M&A

Post Holdings Acquired RTE Cereal Business of TreeHouse Foods (Packaged Goods)

Date:June 1, 2021
Price:$85 Million
Buyer:Post Holdings, Inc. – A consumer packaged goods holding company.
Target:Ready-to-Eat (“RTE”) cereal business of TreeHouse Foods 
Location:Illinois, USA
Seller:TreeHouse Foods – A multinational food processing company that produces private-label packaged foods with headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Purpose: “This transaction is another important step in our strategic journey to create value for our customers and our shareholders,” said Steve Oakland, CEO and President of TreeHouse Foods.
Details:As part of the terms of the transaction, Post acquired the entirety of the RTE business based in St. Louis, Missouri, which included two manufacturing plants in Lancaster, Ohio, and Sparks, Nevada, and a research and development facility in Sauget, Illinois.

Restaurants M&A

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Acquired Wing Zone (Fast-Casual Chicken Wing Restaurants)

Date:January 4, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop – A Nevada-based fast casual restaurant chain in the U.S.
Target:Wing Zone – An Atlanta-based American chain of restaurants specializing in deep-fried food products.
Location:Georgia, USA
Purpose:The acquisition was a good fit for both companies because Wing Zone and Capriotti have many of the same organizational goals and internal values. 
Details:Terms and conditions of the acquisition were undisclosed.

Peak Rock Capital Acquired Shipley Franchise Company and Shipley Do-Nut Flour & Supply Co. (Quick-Service Restaurant Franchisor)

Date:January 6, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Peak Rock Capital – A leading middle-market private investment firm.
Target:Shipley Franchise Company and Shipley Do-Nut Flour & Supply Co. Founded in 1936, Shipley Do-Nuts is a leading quick-service restaurant franchise. 
Location:Texas, USA
Purpose:“Shipley represents an exciting opportunity to invest in a beloved consumer brand with an established reputation for authenticity and quality,” said Robert Strauss, managing director of Peak Rock.”
Details:Financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

Flynn Restaurant Group Acquired Pizza Hut and Wendy’s (Fast-Food Restaurants)

Date:March 24, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount 
Buyer:Flynn Restaurant Group – The largest franchise operator in America.
Target:937 Pizza Hut and 194 Wendy’s franchise units in Ohio and Texas. 
Location:Texas and Ohio, USA
Purpose:This was the largest franchisee-to-franchisee acquisition in U.S. history, totaling 2,355 locations. It doubled Flynn’s restaurant count and will provide annual sales of $3.5 billion.
Details:The transaction was supported by long-term partners, Main Post Partners, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

Amici Partners Group LLC Acquired Friendly’s Restaurants (Family Restaurants)

Date:January 19, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Amici Partners Group, LLC – An entity comprised of restaurant operators and investors who have been involved with some of the best-known casual dining chains for over 25 years. 
Target:Friendly’s Restaurants – An East Coast restaurant chain in the U.S.
Location:Massachusetts, USA
Purpose:With 130 franchised and corporate-owned restaurant locations, Friendly’s has been on the East Coast for over 80 years. The Amici group will keep all locations open to preserve thousands of restaurant worker jobs and keep delighting guests.
Details:In January, Amici announced that it would take on more than 130 corporate-run and franchised locations of the 80-plus-year-old brand.

Thompson Street Capital Partners Acquired Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (Fast-Casual Restaurant)

Date:March 3, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Thompson Street Capital Partners (TSCP) – A private equity firm headquartered in St. Louis. 
Target:Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (Freddy’s) – Kansas-based franchisor of fast casual restaurants.
Location:Kansas, USA
Purpose:“Freddy’s presents an exciting opportunity to partner with the founders and management to continue to grow a premier system by accelerating franchise development, increasing focus on marketing and technology deployment, and enabling operational best practices across the footprint,” said Joe St. Geme, director at TSCP. 
Details:Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Carrols Restaurant Group Acquired 19 Burger King Restaurants (Fast Food Restaurants)

Date:July 8, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. – One of the largest restaurant franchisees in North America.
Target:19 Burger King restaurants in Indiana and Michigan.
Location:Indiana & Michigan, USA 
Purpose:Daniel T. Accordino, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrols, commented, “These 19 restaurants, which were acquired in two separate transactions, constitute our first multi-restaurant acquisitions in more than two years and increase our store count in two large Midwestern states where we already have a significant presence. Importantly, we believe that we can improve upon the average sales volume of these restaurants and increase their margins over time as we integrate them into our existing operations.”
Details:These 19 restaurants were acquired in two separate transactions.

Dairy M&A

Royal DSM Acquired First Choice Ingredients (Dairy-Based Flavorings)

Date:October 19, 2021
Price: $453 Million
Buyer:Royal DSM – A global purpose-led science-based company. 
Target:First Choice IngredientsA leading supplier of dairy-based savory flavorings.
Location:Wisconsin, USA
Purpose:The acquisition gives First Choice Ingredients access to DSM’s global customer relationships, world-leading biotechnology toolbox, and fermentation know-how. 
Details:The acquisition of First Choice Ingredients, a top supplier of dairy-based savory flavorings, was first announced in early September 2021.

Alpina Productos Alimenticios S.A Acquired Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc. (Dairy Products)

Date:December 1, 2021
Price:$136 Million
Buyer:Alpina Productos Alimenticios S.A – A multi-Latin dairy and food company of Swiss origin headquartered in Colombia. Alpina is present in over 20 Latin America countries and 75 years of tradition.
Target:Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc. – A dairy company on the Pacific Coast of Northern California in Sonoma County.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:Both companies share a similar goal for the dairy industry in the future, including adopting a global perspective. The acquisition promotes the expansion of Clover Sonoma’s sustainability efforts, business operations, and product innovation while reinforcing relationships with retail customers, employees, farmers, consumers, and the communities they serve.
Details:The entire Clover Sonoma leadership team stayed the same and is an important aspect of the essential equities of the business. Clover Sonoma’s dairy farmers and employees also attracted Alpina as a partner.

Danone Acquired Earth Island (Plant-Based Dairy Products)

Date:February 19, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Danone – A French multinational food-products corporation based in Paris. It was founded in Barcelona, Spain.
Target:Earth Island – A plant-based business in the U.S. with a presence in cheese alternatives and spreads. Earth Island has been constantly innovating and growing, and has been committed towards nutrition, sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:According to Danone, Earth Island represented a strong cultural fit with the company. It also provided the French multinational with the opportunity to strengthen its plant-based business.
Details:The financial details of the deal were undisclosed.

Baby Food M&A

Eat Well Investment Group Inc. Acquired PataFoods Inc. (Baby Food)

Date:October 28, 2021
Price:$100 Million
Buyer:Eat Well Investment Group Inc. – An investment company with a main focus on high-growth companies in the food tech, agribusiness, plant-based, and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) sectors.
Target:PataFoods Inc. – A fast-growing North American plant-based baby food brand
Location:California, USA
Purpose:Marc Aneed, President of Eat Well Group, said, “Amara represents an integral component of Eat Well Group’s strategic business plan, bolstering the Company’s complete vertical integration strategy by focusing on top-tier and proven CPG products that consumers love.”
Seller:Amara Organic Foods – An organic baby food brand.
Details:Pursuant to the agreement signed on October 27, 2021, the closing occurred on or about November 2, 2021, and was subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Neptune Wellness Solutions Acquired Sprout Food (Baby Food and Toddler Snacks)

Date:July 27, 2021
Price:$6.7 Million 
Buyer:Neptune Wellness – A diversified health and wellness company that concentrates on plant-based, sustainable lifestyle brands, will initially launch Sprout Organic Foods products in Metro grocery stores in the province of Ontario, Canada.
Target:Sprout Food – Produces baby food such as cereals and toddler meals using 100% USDA-certified organic ingredients.
Location:New Jersey, United States
Purpose:In February 2021, Neptune Wellness acquired a majority stake in Sprout as part of a strategic acquisition to diversify its health and wellness brand portfolio and leverage against the company’s expansive retail distribution network.
Details:Neptune Wellness Solutions paid $6 million in cash to obtain a 50.1% interest in Sprout Foods, as well as $6,741,573 in Neptune common shares at a value of $12 million. 

Sun-Maid Growers of California, Inc. Acquired Plum, PBC (Organic Baby Food and Snacks)

Date:March 31, 2021
Price:Undisclosed Amount
Buyer:Sun-Maid Growers of California, Inc. – A privately owned American cooperative of raisin growers based in Fresno, California.
Target:Plum Organics, PBC – A leading premium, organic baby food, and children’s snack brand.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:“We’re excited to welcome Plum Organics’ nutritious line of baby, toddler, and kids’ food products to our imaginative world of delicious, whole fruit snacks. Our purpose is to help moms find better-for-you food options that taste great and kids will love. Adding Plum to our innovative product lineup delivers even more choices for her and her family,” said Harry Overly, CEO and president of Sun-Maid Growers of California.
Details:The terms of the transaction were undisclosed. 

Pet Food M&A

ADM Acquired P4 Companies (Pet Food)

Date:September 8, 2021
Price:$600 Million 
Buyer:ADM – The world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company, ADM is a global leader in animal and human nutrition.
Target:P4 Companies – Provides a complete range of customized supplements and pet treats to over 650 customers in 15 countries.
Location:Fakenham, UK
Purpose:P4 Companies’ extensive customer base and full spectrum of customized formulations and products, combined with ADM’s global capabilities, further enhance both companies’ abilities to meet growing global demand for high-quality, nutritious pet treats and supplements.
Details:ADM acquired a 75% ownership stake in Pedigree Ovens, PetDine, The Pound Bakery, and NutraDine (P4 Companies). ADM also acquired P4’s 300,000+ square feet, state-of-the-art innovation and production facilities in Colorado and Illinois.

Central Garden Acquired Pet Company D & D Commodities Ltd. (Pet Nutrition)

Date:June 30, 2021
Price:$120 Million
Buyer:Central Garden & Pet Company – Manufactures and distributes branded and private label products. The company provides lawn, garden, pottery, and other outdoor products.
Target:D & D Commodities Ltd. – Manufacturer of the finest premium nutritional products for wild and caged birds, small animals, and wildlife.
Location:Minnesota, USA
Purpose:Adding D&D’s brands expands Central’s portfolio in the bird feed category and enhances its relationship with major retailers.
Details:The purchase consideration included approximately $88 million in cash and the assumption of around $30 million in long-term debt.

Nexus Capital Management LP Acquired Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. (Pet Food)

Date:January 29, 2021
Price:$50 Million
Buyer:Nexus Capital Management LP – A Los Angeles-based private equity firm. 
Target:Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. – A leading premium pet food brand specializing in high-quality dog and cat food products sold exclusively through pet specialty and e-commerce channels.
Location:California, USA
Sellers:The J.M. Smucker Co. – An American manufacturer of food and beverage products.
Purpose:“We are extremely excited by the opportunity to acquire the Natural Balance business,” said Damian Giangiacomo, Partner at Nexus. He added, “We believe in the brand’s strong legacy and the ability to reinvigorate the business as an independent company in partnership with the strong management team we have assembled.”
Details:Nexus was represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP on legal matters.

Vibrac Acquired Centrovet (Animal Health Pharmaceuticals)

Date:November 8, 2021
Price:$43.7 Million 
Buyer:Virbac – An animal health pharmaceutical company that specializes in medicine, dental, and supplements for cats, dogs, and ferrets in the U.S.
Target:Centrovet Group – Involved in the research and development of pharmaceutical products and vaccines to improve animal health.
Location:Cerrillos, Coquimbo, Chile
Purpose:Sébastien Huron, chief executive officer, Virbac group, stated, “With this acquisition, we are consolidating our position in this promising market and strategic aquaculture segment for our group.” 
Details:Virbac announced they bought 34% of the shares of the Centrovet group to increase their stake to 100%. The consideration they paid for the acquisition of this stake was $43.7 million, paid in cash upon closing, to which an additional consideration was added subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions and was less than 10% of the purchase price.

Meat M&A

Swift Prepared Food Acquired Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats (Smoked Meat Products)

Date:October 15, 2021
Price:$90 Million
Buyer:Swift Prepared Foods – A consumer packaged goods company and subsidiary of JBS USA
Target:Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, Inc. – Produces a variety of quality smoked bacon, ham and turkey products for sale to retail and wholesale customers under the Sunnyvalley brand.
Location:California, USA
Purpose:The acquisition was consistent with Swift’s long-term strategy to increase its value-added branded portfolio and provide more diverse product offerings to its customers and consumers.
Details:The purchase included one production facility in Manteca, California, with more than 300 team members. Sunnyvalley’s gross revenues are $150 million annually. 

Dundee Corporation Acquired The Blue Goose Subsidiary (Natural Beef Distributor)

Date:October 21, 2021
Price:$68 Million
Buyer:Dundee Corporation – A holding company that delivers long-term, sustainable value in the mining sector.
Target:The Blue Goose Cattle – Focused on the production, distribution, and sale of natural beef. It also owns a significant amount of agricultural land in British Columbia.
Location:Florida, USA
Purpose:Jonathan Goodman, President, and CEO of Dundee Corporation, commented, “The sale of BG Cattle is another milestone for Dundee and shows clear execution on our plan to rationalize our portfolio of non-core assets. This sale is integral to Dundee’s overall transformation into a disciplined, mining-focused investment company that delivers long-term, sustainable value.”
Details:BGCC used the gross proceeds from the transaction to repay its debt of approximately $39 million, money owed to Dundee, the closing, and other costs.

Cargill and Continental Grain Acquired Sanderson Farms (Poultry Producer)

Date:August 9, 2021 
Price:$4 Million
Buyer:Cargill and Continental Grain –A privately owned global owner, investor and operator of various companies with more than 200 years in the food and agribusiness spectrum.
Target:Sanderson Farms – An American poultry producer headquartered in Laurel, Mississippi, and the third largest poultry producer in the U.S., producing 13 million chickens per week.
Location:Mississippi, USA
Purpose:The acquisition created a top U.S. poultry company with complementary operating cultures, a high-quality asset base, and an industry-leading workforce and management team.
Details:Sanderson Farms shareholders received $203 per share of common stock before the completion of the transaction. 

Farming & Agriculture M&A

Verano Holdings Corp Acquired Agri-Kind LLC and Agronomed Holdings Inc. (Cannabis-Based Products)

Date:July 12, 2021
Price:$170 Million
Buyer:Verano Holdings Corp – The top, multi-state, vertically-integrated cannabis operator in the U.S., focused on improving wellness by offering responsible access to regulated cannabis products. 
Target:Agri-Kind LLC and Agronomed Holdings Inc. – Agri-Kind is a pharmaceutical company that a team of doctors, pharmacists, pharmacologists, and entrepreneurs own and operate. Agronomed is the trusted provider of hemp-based CBD, capsules, topicals, lotions, and oils.
Location:Pennsylvania, USA 
Purpose:This equity transaction enhanced Verano’s presence in Pennsylvania and furthers the company’s position as a U.S. market leader. Closing on the transaction was subject to customary contingencies, conditions, and regulatory approvals.
Details:The transaction included equity interests in two companies with production and cultivation licenses. One was an active 62,000 sq. ft. indoor facility and the second was a cultivation and production facility currently under construction.

Gladstone Land Corporation Acquired Organic Blueberry Orchards (Blueberry Orchards)

Date:August 12, 2021
Price:$42.3 Million 
Buyer:Gladstone Land – A real estate investment trust that is publicly traded, Gladstone acquires farm-related properties and farmland in major U.S. agricultural markets and leases its properties to unrelated third-party farmers.
Target:Organic Blueberry Orchards – Organic farms in Oregon and California.
Location:Kern County, California, and Yamhill County, Oregon, USA
Purpose:“These two acquisitions are ideal properties for our growing portfolio of farms producing healthy produce,” said David Gladstone, President and CEO of Gladstone Land.
Details:Both are 100% certified USDA organic farms. Gladstone Land entered into triple-net leaseback agreements with the seller of each farm, ranging from 10 years to 15 years.

Gladstone Land Corporation Acquired Two Lemon and Orange Groves (Fruits and Juices)

Date:August 19, 2021
Price:$5.2 Million
Buyer:Gladstone Land Corporation – A real estate investment trust that is publicly traded, Gladstone acquires farm-related properties and farmland in major U.S. agricultural markets and leases its properties to unrelated third-party farmers.
Target:Lemon and Orange Groves
Location:South Florida, USA
Purpose:“These two properties are ideal for our growing portfolio of farms producing healthy fruits and vegetables,” said David Gladstone, President, and CEO of Gladstone Land. He added, “We are continuing to target the highest quality farms with secure sources of water. However, our greatest strength is that the growers we partner with are dedicated to cultivating the best produce and preserving resources.”
Details:The acquisition included two lemon and orange groves in South Florida totaling 617 acres for about $5.2 million. Also, with the acquisition, Gladstone Land entered a 12-year leaseback agreement with the seller.

Kalera AS Acquired Vindara Inc. (Vertical Farming)

Date:March 10, 2021
Price:$14.3 Million
Buyer:Kalera AS – A vertical farming company providing delicious greens and culinary herbs, harvested on demand all year round.
Target:Vindara Inc. – The first company to provide genetic seed varieties they bred just for the use in high-tech, fast-growing, indoor farming operations.
Location:North Carolina
Purpose:With this acquisition, Kalera said it would make growth cycles faster and increase crop yields in its facilities.
Details:Kalera currently has commercial-scale vertical farms in Orlando, Florida. The company is also expanding rapidly, with new locations across the U.S. in the works. Facilities in Atlanta, Denver, and Houston were slated to open in 2021.

NaturalShrimp Inc. Acquired Aquaculture of Hydrenesis Aquaculture, LLC (Aquatic Farming)

Date:August 26, 2021
Price:$12.5 Million
Buyer:NaturalShrimp Inc. – A publicly traded aquaculture company based in Dallas with production facilities near San Antonio, Texas, and Webster City, Iowa.
Target:Aquaculture Assets of Hydrenesis Aquaculture, LLC – Technology commercialization companies and private technology owners partnering with industry insiders and leading IP holders to commercialize innovative technologies in major industry sectors.
Location:Florida, USA
Purpose:“The acquisition is expected to act as a major growth driver for NaturalShrimp, opening the door for expansion of our platform technologies into additional worldwide seafood markets, including salmon, barramundi, and other freshwater fish,” said Gerald Easterling, CEO, NaturalShrimp.
Details:The acquisition consisted of $4 million cash and a balance due in NSI common stock, including a stock consideration payment of $0.505 per share.

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