2H 2020 Agribusiness M&A Report

The business of agriculture in the United States and Canada – like many other sectors this year – bounced through months of uncertainty brought on by a global pandemic, continuing trade disputes, and supply and demand mismatches. All this after 2019 brought devastating floods to the U.S. Midwest and South, delaying planting across a swath of the country, and hurricane-related damage in 2017 and 2018. The farming industry, it seems, can’t catch a break. Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders cut deeply into the restaurant and hotel business – important markets for many producers. Nearly 100,000 restaurants closed in the U.S. alone. A drop in total miles driven cut into demand for biofuels. And while supply chain challenges left some supermarket shelves bare – including meat shortages – other farm products experienced an oversupply and farmers were forced to dump milk or destroy herds. Looking deeper, we did find some interesting trends and opportunities for M&A activity amid all the bad news. For one, plant-based protein such as “meatless meats” and plant-based dairy and egg substitutes appear to be on a major upswing. Companies ranging from startups to traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) players are getting into the trend as consumers are lured by better taste, price, and availability…

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