Food and beverage M&A and capital-raising activity is higher than it has been in many years – and companies across the country are benefiting from the availability of capital in this market. McGuireWoods’ food and beverage and private equity groups, alongside senior executives in the industry, recently shared insights into industry-specific deal trends in the marketplace, as well as perspectives on enforcement, criminal investigations and prosecutions related to food safety of which buyers and sellers in the industry should be aware. Here are our top takeaways from those discussions.

  1. Overall, the market for restaurant and food and beverage deals remains strong, as evidenced by factors such as the industry’s consistently aggressive valuation multiples.
  2. While interest rates remain low, some companies are looking to monetize assets such as real estate.
  3. Buyers are more receptive to industry targets “behind the counter” such as service and product providers.
  4. Government and prosecutorial oversight of the industry has never been more robust.
  5. Sellers are insisting on speed to closing, but the previously unheralded regulatory environment in the industry requires a measured, thorough assessment of potential food safety risks.