M&A appetite in the Nordics Food & Agro space remains strong during H2’22 with deal activity increasing 21% compared to the same period in 2021.
Market uncertainties and a turbulent economic environment has not put a stop to the wish for continuous growth through M&A as we have witnessed one of the most active H2 periods in six years. Intra-Nordic transactions remain the key growth driver with a lot of Nordic companies seeking to expand their Scandinavian presence. The Food sub-segment continues to be the most attractive space accounting for almost 2/5 of all transactions in H2’22, while the Agribusiness and Aquabusiness sub-segments each account for approximately 1/5 of the transactions in this period. Nordic companies operating within Beverage and Food Service & Distribution have both seen M&A activity in just above 1/10 deals the past half year.
- Nordics Food & Agro deal flow was tremendously strong in H2’22 exceeding the same period in both 2018, 2019 and 2021, while at par with H2 in 2017 and 2020.
- Intra-Nordic and domestic deals still drive M&A in the Nordics Food & Agro space, although we have witnessed an increase from international buyers.
- Private Equity involvement remains fairly consistent on a four-year basis accounting for 16% of transactions during 2022.
- Eight Nordic serial acquirers dominate the buy-side in the Food & Agro space with involvement in almost one out of five deals between 2017-2022.
- Stock performance in Nordic Food & Agro sub-segments have had a rough year with only the Aquabusiness index outperforming the overall market, while the Food index ends on par with the Nordic stock market and the other indexes underperform.
- Rolling 3-month average EV / NTM EBITDA multiples for listed peers in all sub-segments trade below their five-year average, implying a market still concerned with macroeconomic uncertainties and conflicts around the world.
- The past six months have delivered some truly interesting deals, including: The largest Danish merger in history between Chr. Hansen and Novozymes (EUR 11.7 bn), SalMar’s acquisition of an additional 37% stake in NTS ASA giving them the majority control, The Lindström Family’s sale of Bubs Godis to Orkla, and Mowi’s majority-stake acquisition of Arctic Fish (EUR 169m).
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