The number of mergers and acquisitions in the US nutrition, health and wellness market was down by almost 40% in the first half of 2012*, according to Nutrition Capital Network (NCN).
However, many of the deals struck this year were very big, explained NCN, which facilitates financing & asset sales for growing companies and introduces investors to new brands and technologies in the sector.
Notable big-ticket transactions this year included Campbell Soup’s $1.6bn acquisition of fresh veg and premium chilled drinks maker Bolthouse Farms, Pfizer’s $360m acquisition of Emergen-c maker Alacer and DSM’s $540m purchase of omega-3 expert Ocean Nutrition Canada.
Many businesses are looking for $1-5m in growth capital
Meanwhile, the number of investment and financing transactions increased significantly (up 44%) in the first six months of 2012 vs the same period in 2011, with 39 investments tracked, said Grant Ferrier, an NCN principal and co-founder.
“As the pool of acquisition-ready big brands dries up, investors are increasingly turning their attention to medium-sized businesses that are well positioned for growth. This is good news for the types of companies that present at NCN’s investor meetings.
“Some of them come to sell their business, but most are growing businesses looking for $1-5m in growth capital to fuel their expansion.”
*The percentage cited is based on full-year 2011 vs an annualized figure for 2012 (ie. figure of 50 deals in first six months of 2012 was doubled to make 100 deals vs 166 in full-year 2011).