Food & Agro market characterized by high deal volume by serial acquirors and investors seeking opportunities in niche sub-segments
Nordic Food & Agro companies continue to drive growth through M&A, although deal activity in H1 2022 decreased 19% compared to a record breaking H1 last year, mainly caused by a quiet Q2’22 affected by international conflicts and macroeconomic challenges. Many Strategic buyers capitalize on M&A within Food & Agro by broadening their portfolio with trending businesses in the Natural / Organic / BFY and Aquabusiness spaces. PE involvement has slightly decreased in H1 2022 but remain consistent compared to the previous three years and accounts for approximately 1/5 of all transactions in the period 2017 – H1 2022. The financial sponsor-backed transactions mainly target the Food- (52%) and the Food Service & Distribution (18%) sub-segments with an increased focus on the growing Natural / Organic / BFY businesses.
- Nordics Food & Agro deal flow in Q1 2022 exceeded the same period in 2021 with 36% but has witnessed a decrease of 57% in Q2 2022 compared to last year.
- The Food (53%) sub-segment account for the main share of Nordic M&A activity within Food & Agro. Most companies targeted in this sub-segment do business within Protein (33%), Natural / Organic / BFY (19%) or Baked Goods / Pastries (14%).
- Domestic deals continue to dominate the Nordics landscape, whereof nine out of ten deals being intra-Nordic transactions.
- The eight most active acquirers in the Nordics account for 54 (16%) of all transactions in the period 2017 – H1 2022, with approximately two thirds being within the Food sub-segment.
- Nordic indexes Aquabusiness and Food continue to outperform the overall market in H1 2022. The Food Service & Distribution index has faced a downwards trend since Q4 2021 and now underperform the overall market for the first time in the period 2017-2022.
- Rolling 3-month average EV / NTM EBITDA multiples for listed Nordic Aquabusiness peers have increased significantly from c. 7.0x in 2015 to 11.9x in 2022, while Beverage businesses have remained stable in 2022 (10.9x) trading above their five-year average (10.2x).
- H1 2022 has brought some interesting headline deals including: The remaining 75% of Hansa Borg Bryggerier from Norway was sold to Royal Unibrew (EUR 280m), Oterra from Denmark acquired Akay Natural Ingredients, Globus Wine from Denmark was sold to Anora Group (EUR 80m) and Apetito acquired Det Danske Madhus from Polaris.
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