2022 was another very busy year for mergers and acquisitions in the beverage alcohol space with over 50 deals made between suppliers. Deals were primarily driven by established beverage alcohol companies, but there was a noteworthy number of non-traditional companies entering the space and trying their luck with high-growth categories. Alcohol-adjacent firms such as Monster Beverage and Coca-Cola have formed beverage alcohol partnerships alongside a growing number of private equity firms, and even tech companies like Uber are betting on the alcohol category.
In order to track M&A trends in the industry, Park Street University has created its first annual white paper summarizing the major supplier deals in the beverage alcohol industry in both 2021 and 2022.
The deals came in several different forms, including full acquisitions, minority stakes, equal partnerships, and distribution or licensing agreements. Price tags on the deals ranged as high as $1.2 billion.
KEY FINDINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS
- The spirits sector saw the most investment, with 46 deals in this timeframe, followed by wine with 26. Beer deals made up the remaining moves with four.
- The period was also marked by a rise in activity in the e-commerce sector, where the industry saw seven major deals.
- The global alcohol category has been very invested in premiumization. Consumers are buying more products at higher prices and drinks companies are following these trends.
- Fast-growing categories like ready-to-drink (RTD), agave-based spirits, and American whiskey drove M&A activity. These categories were prime candidates for investment from strategic investors. Buyers consistently emphasized category growth when discussing motivation for investments.
- Diageo was the most active investor during the period. The drinks company directly made seven acquisitions, and five investments through subsidiaries over the last two years.
- The agave sector was part of many major deals, including Diageo’s acquisition of flavored tequila 21Seeds and Constellation Brands’ investment in Dos Hombres Mezcal.
For the latest list of mergers and acquisitions, along with analysis of major players and buyer motivation, check out Park Street’s 2023 Beverage Alcohol M&A Overview.
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