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.
FoodBev has compiled a list of some of the biggest and most interesting mergers and acquisitions that took place this year.
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.).
The Australian bottler is backing the takeover proposal – which Reuters says prices the firm below its market valuation in February – due to uncertainty sparked by hospitality closures amid the coronavirus crisis.
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.
PepsiCo agrees $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.
“Over time, we expect to capture our fair share of this fast-growing, highly profitable category and create meaningful new partnerships in the energy space,” said PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta.
Kraft Heinz to sell natural cheese business to Groupe Lactalis in $3.2bn deal
Meanwhile, 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.
The deal was made as Kraft Heinz unveiled plans to transition from managing its portfolio of more than 55 individual categories to distributing its brands among six platforms, built around the occasions people consume Kraft products and the foods they are paired with.
Nestlé to buy Aimmune Therapeutics in $2.6bn deal
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.
Aimmune Therapeutics claims that its therapy Palforzia is the first and only FDA-approved treatment to help reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reaction to peanuts, and just this month it received approval from the European Commission.
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.
Bega Cheese to become new owner of Lion Dairy & Drinks
In one of the most back and forth acquisitions, Kirin Holdings finally agreed to sell Australian Lion Dairy & Drinks to Bega Cheese for AUD 560 million ($412 million), which will see the latter take ownership of brands such as Dairy Farmers and Pura.
The news came after Kirin Holdings and China Mengniu Dairy terminated their deal for Lion’s business that was made last year, after it was likely to be blocked by the Australian government.
Together with the sale of the specialty cheese business to Saputo, the completion of this acquisition will represent a full divestment of the Lion Dairy & Drinks business. Upon closing the deal, the retained Lion business aims to become a leading global, crafted adult drinks business.
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After nearly three decades with AFI, Andersen is leaving to pursue a different career path “to work on diverse projects and explore opportunities to serve as board member”. Serving as CEO since 2010, Andersen joined AFI in 1994, initially overseeing applications and R&D. Over the years, he has maintained a strong focus on the whey business.
The Kraft Heinz Company has introduced five new members to its executive leadership team, who will collaborate with Carlos Abrams-Rivera upon assuming the CEO role in 2024. Pedro Navio will assume the position of North America president at the beginning of next year. In addition, Willem Brandt, Bruno Keller, Cory Onell and Diana Frost will join Abrams-Rivera and Navio on the executive leadership team.