What We’re Seeing

Market Update

The food and beverage market saw several notable M&A transactions in October. Hearthside Food Solutions agreed to acquire Greencore USA, a producer of meal kits and salads, for $1.1B. Kerry Group agreed to acquire Fleischmann’s Vinegar Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of food-grade industrial vinegar, for $350.0M. Glanbia agreed to acquire SlimFast, a leading weight management brand, for $350.0M. Peak Rock Capital agreed to acquire Pretzels, Inc., a leading supplier of pretzels and extruded snack products, for an undisclosed amount. Through October 2018, the aggregate food and beverage transaction value of approximately $104 billion surpassed 2017’s full year transaction value of approximately $78 billion.  

What We’ve Been Doing

Closed Harris Williams Transactions


Harris Williams Advises SlimFast on its Sale to Glanbia

Business Overview

  • SlimFast is a leading clinically-proven weight management brand with over 40 years of history.
  • After acquiring the business, Kainos put in place a new management team in 2014, who subsequently drove growth with the introduction of new product lines including Advanced Nutrition, Advanced Energy, and Keto.
  • SlimFast became the fastest growing weight management brand for three years in a row.
  • SlimFast also grew the international business, achieving the largest market share in the U.K. weight management category while further penetrating new geographies such as China.

Key Value Drivers


  • Fastest growing weight management brand
  • Attractive financial profile
  • Diverse, blue-chip customer base
  • Exceptional brand awareness
  • Expected growth from new product launches
  • Clinically proven weight-loss solution
  • Established and growing international presence
  • Deep and experienced management team



Vital Signs




Public Equity Market Overview

Public Company Sector Performance (Median One Year Change in Stock Price)4


Recent Equity Offerings5



M&A Market Overview

Highlighted Food and Beverage M&A Transactions4

Kerry Group to Acquire Fleischmann’s Vinegar


  • Kerry Group agreed to acquire Fleischmann’s Vinegar for $350.0M.
  • Based in Cerritos, CA, Fleischmann’s Vinegar is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of food-grade industrial vinegar.
  • The acquisition will further expand Kerry Group’s foodservice and developing markets position.

Peak Rock Capital to Acquire Pretzels, Inc.


  • Peak Rock Capital agreed to acquire Pretzels, Inc. (“Pretzels”) for an undisclosed amount.
  • Based in Bluffton, IN, Pretzels provides an extensive portfolio of salty snack products that includes pretzels and extruded snack products.
  • The investment reinforces Peak Rock’s focus on investing in industry-leading food and beverage businesses that are well-positioned for near-term growth.

Hearthside Foods to Acquire Greencore USA


  • Hearthside agreed to acquire Greencore for $1.1B.
  • Based in Danvers, MA, Greencore produces a range of fresh, frozen, and ambient products including sandwiches, meal kits, and salad kits.
  • The acquisition will expand Hearthside’s production, innovation, and R&D capabilities across the frozen, refrigerated, and fresh meal categories.

Food and Beverage M&A Trends4


Latest Deals and Announced Private Equity Activity4


Private Equity Investments & Exits


* M&A transactions include European and cross-border deals since 2015.

Debt Market Overview

Food and Beverage Loan Activity6


Recent Debt Offerings7


Median LTM Trading Multiples & Quarterly Food & Beverage M&A4


Recent Food and Beverage M&A4



* M&A transactions include European and cross-border deals since 2015.

Food and Beverage Earnings Release Calendar

Earnings Release Calendar4


Public Comparables4







1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2. Unweighted Average

3. US Census Bureau

4. Factset

5. Thomson Financial

6. S&P

7. Reuters


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