San Diego, CA –Transaction activity in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry increased 22%, with 436 deals in the first half of 2017, and shows no signs of slowing down, reports Nutrition Capital Network (NCN).

The advisory firm’s transaction database revealed mergers and acquisitions were up 33% and financings up 16% compared to the same period in 2016. The $13.7 billion Amazon bid for Whole Foods Market led the way.

According to NCN, 2017 is on pace to surpass the previous two record years: with 715 transactions in all of 2016 and 627 transactions in 2015.

Among the highlights:
  • Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion (plus debt, valuing the deal at $13.7 billion).
  • L1 Retail agreed to purchase the Holland & Barrett health store chain from The 
Nature’s Bounty Co and The Carlyle Group for £1.77 billion.
  • Danone of France completed the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods, the owner of Silk 
soymilk and Horizon Organic dairy brands, for $10.4 billion.
  •  Lonza completed the acquisition of Capsugel for $5.5 billion.
  •  Maple Leaf Foods acquired Lightlife Foods for $140 million.
  • Glanbia invested €181 million to acquire Amazing Grass, positioning Glanbia in the 
plant-based nutrition market, and Body & Fit, a direct-to-consumer business focused 
on performance nutrition.
  •  Nutraceutical International (Solaray, KAL, Natural Balance, Health from the Sun, 
Monarch Nutraceuticals, etc.) was taken private by HGGC in $446 million deal
Key Segment Trends

NCN reported sustained momentum in natural, organic and functional food and beverages, which saw M&As increase by 26% and financings by 25% in the first six months of 2017, setting the segment on course to top 2016’s record pace. Other segments of note showing a demonstrable increase in M&A transactions includedretail & distribution,ingredients, andsupplements, all three of which are also on track for record years.

“That the pace of transactions in natural and organic foods in 2007 continues to exceed previous years’ records is indicative of the strength of this category and the fact that the emerging battleground in the global food business is healthy foods,” said Grant Ferrier, chief executive officer of NCN, in a press release.

(Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 7/24/17)