Oghma Partners T1 2011 M&A Review for the Food and Beverage sector (published this May) references a continuation in the difficult trading environment. Inflation and limited growth in wages is limiting growth in disposal income, on top of these factors unemployment concerns are denting consumer confidence; there seems little let up in this environment anytime soon. Despite these challenges, M&A activity has increased by value and volume in the first Tertial of 2011 compared to the prior period. The increased activity is put down to a more stable lending environment and the drive to cut costs through consolidation. Action to reduce debt is also freeing up assets for strategic buyers as the recent purchase of Premier Foods canning operations by Princes Food Group demonstrates.
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