GLOBAL – Despite the unsettled year due to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 hasn’t been shy of food and beverage industry deals.

There were several billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions that took place during the entire year, some shaking up the industry, creating new food behemoths in their respective regions.

Food Business Africa reviewed the year and has compiled a list of some of the biggest and most interesting mergers and acquisitions that took place this year.

Inspire Brands acquires fast-food chains Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins for US$ $11.3B

US restaurant group Inspire Brands agreed to buy Dunkin’ Brands Group, which is the parent company of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, in a deal worth approximately US$11.3 billion.

Inspire Brands claimed that the addition of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins to its group will create a combined foodservice portfolio that operates over 31,600 restaurants in over 60 countries.

ABInBev closes US$11bn sale of Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi Group

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) also completed its previously announced sale of its Australian subsidiary, Carlton & United Breweries, to Asahi Group Holdings in a transaction valued at AUD16 billion (~US$11 billion).

As part of the transaction which was completed inJune, AB InBev granted Asahi Group Holdings rights to commercialize the portfolio of AB InBev’s global and international brands in Australia.

Walmart sells Asda to Issa billionaire brothers for US$7.97B

In October, US retail chain Walmart sold its last major outpost in Europe, Asda, to two billionaire brothers from Blackburn and the private equity firm TDR Capital in a deal that values the supermarket chain at £6.8 billion (US$7.97bn).

The sale meant that the grocer will return to majority UK ownership for the first time in two decades.

Dutch delivery company acquires Just Eat for US$7.7B

Takeaway, a Dutch delivery company announced at the start of the year that it had received approval to acquire British online food ordering company Just deal for US$7.7 billion.

The joint group which at the time was world’s largest food delivery company will be headquartered Amsterdam and will bring together businesses that process 360 million annual orders worth £6.6bn (US$8.62 billion).

CCEP makes $6.6bn takeover offer for Coca-Cola Amatil

Near the end of October, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) agreed to buy Australian peer Coca-Cola Amatil for AUD 9.28 billion ($6.62 billion approx.).

Uniting two companies that bottle and distribute Coca-Cola drinks, the deal would provide scale and a larger geographic spread.

According to CCEP, the proposed transaction would almost double its consumer reach.

Mars Incorporated acquires Kind North America in a deal US$5 billion deal

American multinational food company Mars Incorporated announced that it had reached an agreement to fully acquire the remaining stake of snack processing giant Kind North America.

The acquisition comes three years after Mars took a minority stake in the healthy snacking company that is reported to make about US$1.5 billion in sales annually.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but people with knowledge of the deal told The New York Times the deal valued Kind at about $5 billion.

A month after its acquisition Kind entered into an agreement to buy snack bar brand specializing in a range of plant-based and nut-free snack bars Nature’s Bakery.

PepsiCo agrees to a $3.85 billion acquisition of Rockstar

Back in April, PepsiCo entered into an agreement to buy energy drink manufacturer Rockstar Energy Beverages (‘Rockstar’) for $3.85 billion.

PepsiCo says the deal will strengthen its position in the category, expanding its existing energy drinks portfolio that currently includes Mountain Dew’s Kickstart, GameFuel and AMP.

Kraft Heinz sells natural cheese business to Groupe Lactalis in $3.2bn deal

As the year progressed, Kraft Heinz formed a deal to offload its natural, grated, cultured and specialty cheese businesses to a US affiliate of Groupe Lactalis for $3.2 billion.

While Kraft Heinz’s Breakstone’s, Knudsen, Polly-O, Athenos and Hoffman’s brands are included in the transaction, the consumer goods giant will retain the Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kraft Singles and Cheez Whiz brands in the US and Canada.

Indonesia’s Indofood buys instant noodle maker Pinehill for US$3b

PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur, an Indonesian consumer branded products company acquired Pinehill Company Limited, a producer of instant noodles in Africa and the Middle East for US$3 billion to expand in fast-growing markets for consumer products.

Indofood, which dominates the instant noodles market in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, expects to gain a strategic position in Pinehill’s markets, where halal products are the primary choice.

Nestlé enters a US$2.6 billion deal to buy Aimmune Therapeutics

Following a series of acquisitions, Nestlé Health Science agreed to acquire Aimmune Therapeutics, a peanut allergy treatment maker, in a deal worth approximately $2.6 billion.

With the merger, Nestlé Health Science aims to create a global leader in food allergy prevention and treatment and create a wider offering of solutions for children living with food allergies.

PepsiCo’s acquires South Africa’s Pioneer Foods for US$1.7B

US giant PepsiCo received an approval to acquire South African food company Pioneer Foods in the first quarter of the year.

The deal valued at US$1.7 billion is one of the snack-food giant’s biggest investments outside the US.

As a result of the acquisition, Pioneer Foods, the local maker of Weet-Bix, Liqui Fruit, and Sasko and Bokomo brands, will be taken off the JSE.

Brewing companies Carlsberg, Marston’s merge in a US$1.1B deal

UK division of Carlsberg and Wolverhampton brewing giant Marston’s merged towards the latter part of the year creating a US$1.1 business.

The agreement between the two companies created the new Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), with Carlsberg UK owning 60 per cent and being able to sell their drinks in Marston’s 1,400 pubs and bars.

DSM acquires animal nutrition company Erber Group for US$1.1bn

Finally closing our top mergers and acquisition is Global science-based company in nutrition and health Royal DSM which reached an agreement in June last year to acquire Erber Group, a specialty animal nutrition and health company based in Austrian for an enterprise value of €980 million (US$1.1 billion).

The acquisition involved Erber Group’s specialty animal nutrition and health businesses; Biomin and Romer Labs – which specialize primarily in mycotoxin risk management, gut health performance management, and food and feed safety diagnostic solutions.

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