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CEO Advisory

Review: Top 10 significant business deals in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic left its mark in 2020. Many businesses closed, others decided to expand, merge or make acquisitions. In general, for many businesses revenue fell sharply. However, there are some business sectors that managed to survive during the pandemic and in some cases increased their revenue. We present you some of the biggest deals of 2020 that everybody will remember in the coming years as an example showing that every crisis creates opportunities.

  1. PepsiCo – Rockstar ($3.85 billion)
    In March 2020 PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) announced its decision to acquire energy drink Rockstar for $3.85 billion. PepsiCo got a more powerful presence at the segment of energy drinks trying to compete Red Bull and Monster. Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo’s chief financial officer, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that buying Rockstar “gives us the ability to play in energy from soup to nuts”.
  2. Kraft Heinz – Lactalis ($3.2 billion)
    Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) is selling its natural cheese business to Lactalis for $3.2 billion. The brands included in this sale are Breakstone’s, Knudsen, Polly-O, Athenos, Hoffman’s and Cracker Barrel in the U.S. only. It also includes the Cheez Whiz brand outside the U.S. and Canada. The brands being sold contributed 1.8 billion dollars in net sales for Kraft Heinz in the 12 months that ended on June 27, 2020. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
  3. Nestle- Aimmune Therapeutics ($2.6 billion)
    Nestle (SWX:NESN) decided the acquisition of Aimmune a biopharmaceutical company that makes a therapy designed to help children reduce their allergic reactions to peanuts by exposing them to small but increasing amounts of the legume. The deal values the company at about $2.6 billion.
  4. Mars- Kind North America ($5 billion)
    Another well- known company, Mars (LON:MARS) decided to fully acquire Kind North America. The amount of the acquisition is said to be about $5 billion. Kind North America’s sales are about $1.5 billion annually. Kind was founded in 2005 and it is one of the biggest brands in healthy snacks.
  5. Nestle- Freshly ($950 million)
    Nestlé (SWX:NESN) purchased Freshly, a provider of fresh-prepared meal delivery services in the U.S. for $950 million. Nestle, has already purchased a small stake in Freshly three years ago. Freshly, managed to increase sales year over year. Freshly is focused on nutrition. Its meals are naturally sweetened and less processed than other prepared meals.
  6. McCormick- Cholula ($800 million )
    McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) paid $800 million cash in order to acquire hot-sauce maker Cholula from private equity company L Catterton. McCormick is best known for its spices. On the other hand Cholula’s annual net sales are approximately $96 million.
  7. Conagra Brands- Post Holdings
    In the first quarter of 2021 is expected to close the deal between Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) and Post Holdings (NYSE:POST). Post Holdings is buying Peter Pan peanut butter from Conagra Brands. The specific amount of money for the deal hasn’t been announced.
  8. Diageo – Aviation Gin ($610 million)
    Diageo (NYSE:DEO) announced its decision to acquire Aviation American Gin and its parent company Davos Brands in a deal that could be worth $610 million. Diageo made this decision in an effort to reposition its portfolio in recent years to give it a bigger presence in the alcohol space.
  9. JM Smucker – B&G Foods ($550 million)
    In October 2020, J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) announced plans to sell its Crisco oils and shortening business to B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS) for $550 million in cash. Smucker finds the time ideal for this deal as U.S. consumers spend more time cooking at home because of the pandemic.
  10. Utz- On The Boarder ($480 million)
    In November 2020 it was annouced that Utz Brands (NYSE:UTZ) is buying Truco Enterprises, a manufacturer of tortilla chips, salsa and queso under the On The Border brand from Insignia Capital Group for $480 million. Utz has the ambition with this deal to force its presence in the tortilla chip segment.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Advisory - Review: Top 10 significant business deals in 2020
Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at