Buy-outs with bite

In the first six months of the year, private equity houses showed their appetite for food sector deals, according to a report by accountant and business adviser PKF.

M&A activity in the UK food sector increased with 24 deals completing worth a total of £597 million compared with 21 deals at £569 million in the last six months of 2007.

The year’s largest food deal was Grampian Country Food Group’s buy-out backed by Vion Group for £350 million. The acquisition of Cadbury’s own-label confectionery arm Monkhill by Tangerine dream was also one of the biggest with a price tag of £58 million.

Earlier this year Tyrrels Potato Chips was bought by Langholm Capital Partners for £40 million.

PKF say further consolidation is expected in the sector as smaller companies run into supply chain and cash flow problems and become targets.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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