Record Year for Mergers and Acquisitions

ProducePronto was snapped up by Freightways

According to professional services firm, PwC, a flurry of F&B-related takeovers were recorded in the final quarter of 2021, closing out a record year for mergers and acquisitions in New Zealand.

In its latest M&A Quarterly Update, PwC reported that a record level of activity was seen in Q4 2021 with 107 deals completed or announced. This completed what PwC described as a significant year for merger and acquisition activity with 219 deals completed or announced during 2021, an increase of 376 percent on 2020 deal volume. 

Notable FMCG deals within Q4 included baked goods company George Weston Foods adding privately-owned Dad’s Pies’ retail and wholesale business to its portfolio, creating a top three New Zealand competitor alongside Goodman Fielder and Goodtime Pies.

Seeka snapped up New Zealand Fruits, while the Skeggs family offloaded some Central Otago wine assets from its Akarua operations, with Foley Wines buying some.

Logistics players also added to the tally, with Freightways snapping up ProducePronto for $10m, and agribusiness Talley’s acquiring temperature-controlled transport business Halls Group.

Across the three quarters that PwC has been compiling its M&A Quarterly Update, there were more than 30 food and beverage and related companies traded, including cracker company 180 Degrees, homegrown coffee company Allpress Espresso, and Emerald Foods, which went to the Hart family’s Walter & Wild.

In general, PwC said activity from local buyers remained strong in Q4 with 61 of the 107 deals announced or completed involving a New Zealand buyer. However, international cross-border M&A activity increased significantly during the final quarter of 2021.