Consumer deal-making has gotten off to a good start in 2015 according to a new Mergermarket report. In the first half of 2015, global consumer deal size increased 42.8 percent over the same period last year with deal volume totaling $202 billion — the largest gain since 2008.
The big jump in deal-making was mostly attributed to two mega deals. First, Heinz’s $54 billion acquisition of Kraft and then the $40.8 billion acquisition of CKH & Hutchison Whampoa by Cheung Kong Holdings accounted for a large portion of first-half transactions.
It isn’t just the food sector where there could be a lot of activity. In the U.S., there looks to be opportunity in the auto retail space where profitability is rising. There are 17,000 franchise dealerships, but only 10 percent are public companies. The industry is highly fragmented, but has opportunity for consolidation. Another sector that is ripe for consolidation is housewares. Industry executives told Mergermarket that they expect consolidation over the next year as larger players make acquisitions in order to add to their revenue growth.
Meanwhile, the fashion apparel sector could see an uptick in M&A activity, although the types of deals would be smaller and involve “bolt-on” acquisitions, according to separate reports.
“The prices that are being paid right now are very strong,” said Neal Asbury, founder and chief executive officer of The Legacy Companies, “because there’s a lot of money out there chasing the few good companies that are in play. But the bigger companies are getting bigger through acquiring smaller companies.”
The report also pointed out that the launch of the Apple Watch would put pressure on wearable tech device companies like Fitbit, which recently went public. For now that hasn’t happened as Fitbit priced above its planned range at $20 upon its initial public offering in mid June and since shot up to the low $40s.
Meanwhile, the strength of the U.S. dollar has had an effect on the flow direction of the deals. U.S. inbound M&A deals dropped by 88 percent, while U.S. outbound deals increased 69 percent. India and Canada’s consumer industries have enjoyed most of the benefit.