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Consumer Foods, Private Equity and Cross Border Transactions Drive U.S. Retail & Consumer Deals During Third Quarter, According to PwC US

M&A Deal Volume and Value up 60% and 160% From a Year Ago

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporations spinning off businesses, private equity (PE) investment in retail, continued cross border activity and expansion into e-commerce drove retail & consumer merger & acquisition (M&A) activity in the third quarter of 2012, according to PwC's US retail and consumer M&A insights Q3 2012 report released today.

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For the three month period ending September 30, 2012, there were a total of 32 deals in the retail and consumer sector with values greater than $50 million, accounting for $19.8 billion in deal value, a 60 percent increase in volume and a 160 percent increase in value from the 20 deals worth $7.6 billion during the third quarter of 2011. In addition, there were six 'mega' deals (deals with values of $1 billion or more) during Q3 2012, representing $13.9 billion, a substantial jump from the 3 mega deals that totalled $4.3 billion during the same time period last year. Year-to-date 2012 activity for announced deals with values greater than $50 million is up 22 percent for volume and 119 percent for value versus the prior year.

"Third quarter M&A activity advanced at a brisk pace with significant increases in total deal volume and value from a year ago," said Leanne Sardiga, partner and PwC's US retail & consumer leader, transaction services. "With improving consumer sentiment, retail and consumer companies continue to use acquisitions as a vehicle for growth and for adopting to new consumer trends. A strong interest among private equity investors for retail combined with international and e-commerce related acquisitions for R&C corporate buyers are expected to drive the positive outlook for the retail and consumer sector."

The rise of the digitally empowered consumer is driving retail business models to transition from traditional stores to a marketplace that is increasingly omnichannel. According to PwC, retailers are increasingly looking at acquisition opportunities to more quickly transform their business by expanding their e-commerce capabilities and to gain access to alternative business models.

Cross border activity represented 30 percent of deal volume and 48 percent of deal value for year-to-date September 2012. Outbound deal activity has been more prevalent, according to the report, particularly investment into Europe, with Asia and South America the other leading areas for U.S. investment abroad this year.

The retail and consumer sector has also seen continued activity in corporate restructuring and spin-offs, as companies reassess their portfolios and positioning in an increasingly competitive environment. The report states that recent corporate spin-offs have generally focused on realigning businesses to distribution channels or high versus low growth product segments. As companies begin to trade separately, PwC believes there may be increased M&A activity to drive growth in the re-focused business segments.

"Deal activity in the consumer space was partially driven by large CPG companies selling non-core operations and brands, and we expect the trend to continue over the next 12 months as CPG companies look to sell underperforming assets and reinvest in higher margin or growth products and markets," added Sardiga. "Private equity will continue to focus on the restaurant industry and be active in the subsector as they see opportunities to improve operating efficiencies during the economic downturn and position for growth."

PwC's US retail and consumer M&A insights is a quarterly analysis based on data for transactions with a disclosed deal value greater than $50 million, as provided by Thomson Reuters through September 30, 2012, and supplemented by additional independent research.  Information related to previous periods is updated periodically based on new data collected by Thomson Reuters for deals closed during previous periods but not reflected in previous data sets.

About the PwC Network
PwC firms help organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

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© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

SOURCE PwC

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