A recent study conducted by Richard Hall, Chairman of Zenith International (a company specializing in consulting the food and beverage sector) shows that 2014 was a peak year globally for M&A transactions in the food and beverage sector (the study is available at Richard Hall's blog - bevblog.net). The study revealed that out of the 536 transactions identified in 2014 most occurred in the following subsectors of food and beverage: packaging (68), dairy (63), alcoholic beverages (48) and additives (47).
Among the transactions named by the report only one was from Poland. In 2014, Maspex, a Polish producer of various food and beverage products, acquired another Polish company Agros Nova (also producing various products such as juices and vegetables based ready-made food). As a result of the transaction Maspex became one the biggest Polish producers with an annual turnover of over PLN 1 billion (€250 million).
Despite the international trend, and the fact that Poland was among three countries in the CEE region with the biggest M&A rate in 2014, overall the Polish M&A market in the food and beverage sector was sluggish.
Commentators have attributed the drop in transactions to the exchange rate of the Polish zloty to the euro and US dollar, as well as the Russian embargo. However the same commentators note that towards the end of the year the unfavourable exchange rate changed positively and the consumers' confidence increased.
Thus, despite the Russian embargo remaining in force, commentators expect 2015 to be much better for M&A in Poland.