The International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta was attended by more than 31,000 people and had over 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibitor space with nearly 1,300 exhibitors. The show is a combination of the International Feed Expo, the International Meat Expo and the International Poultry Expo (it was organized by American Feed Industry Association, the North American Meat Institute and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, respectively).

IPPEBesides being a large industry trade show, it also is a forum for a host of education sessions for industry personnel on food/feed production issues. This year’s education topics included reducing risk of contamination (e.g., by pathogens such as listeria), hazardous critical control points (HACCP), regulatory issues (Food Safety Modernization Act and the Veterinary’s Feed Directive), natural additives, reducing antibiotic use and alternatives, natural products, sustainable practices and new technology.

Our primary objective at the show was to meet with leading industry CEOs and senior managers to gain and share insights into the industry’s mergers and acquisitions trends, as well as to discuss key industry trends and challenges.

Several of the leading food and feed production/processing equipment companies seem to be looking at adding capabilities, up and down the production line, via alliances, partnerships, distribution agreements or through acquisitions to broaden their offerings. In our latest summary report on “Agrifood Processing/Packaging Equipment and Tech M&A Overview” (available by request), we’ve outlined several examples of how some of the industry players are using such strategies.

Merger and acquisition activity in the food animal nutrition sector certainly has been robust over the last few years. Common themes driving activity have been 1) the need for highly specialized, modern and efficient production capabilities, 2) regional market expansion, improved access to distribution and brands, 3) vertical integration (both backward and forward), 4) optimizing operations and purchasing power and 5) enhancing expertise and resources in research and development to drive product innovation. We also have available, by request, a summary report entitled, “Animal Health and Nutrition M&A Overview”, which highlights some of the industry players’ key M&A activity.

Please send me an email (ebosveld@sdrventures.com) if you would like a copy of either report, or please give me a call (226.777.3078) to discuss. This space remains an active focus area for us and we anticipate further M&A activity over the next few years.