Food and drink M&A hits record level in 2014
It found there were 563 transactions in the industry last year, compared to 481 in 2013, with the most deals taking place in packaging (68), dairy (63), general food (51), soft drinks (48) and ingredients (47).
Chairman of Zenith International Richard Hall, who compiled the database, said in a statement: "This is an average of more than 10 per week and 17% above the level of 2013.
"The biggest changes were a leap in transactions for packaging (+33), back to its leadership position held in 2012, in confectionery (+14) and soft drinks (+13), with the major falls being in wine (-10) and spirits (-8). Water cooler deals slipped from 13 to 11 and fruit juice from 13 to 10."
Coca-Cola, Danone, Anheuser-Busch InBev and DS Servicesmade the most acquisitions, with six or more a piece, while Lactalis, Diageo, FrieslandCampina, Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated and BBX Capital all made five purchases.
A total of 909 companies were involved in 75 countries, with the United States topping the biggest buyers, followed by the UK, France, Canada and Germany. The top sellers were the United States, UK, Canada, China, Italy and Australia.