2012: The year of fewer, bigger, deals in health & wellness, and a sharp rise in financing

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment, Mergers and acquisitions

Ferrier: '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...'
Ferrier: '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...'
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).

 

 

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