Restaurant Mergers, USDA Regulation Repeal, and the Year Ahead

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user jeepersmedia.  This week, we’re bringing you a holiday edition of Food & Power. Here are a couple of trends we’ve watched over the past few months, and some stories we’ll be following at the start of 2018. Private Equity Expands in Restaurants There have been at least 33 acquisitions of restaurant brands with more […]

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Farm Credit Mergers the Latest Threat to Independent Farmers

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user cjuneau. The latest in a series of mergers that are remaking the business of farm credit in America will, in early July, bring together three lenders in the upper Midwest, AgStar Financial Services, Badgerland Financial, and 1st Farm Credit Services. The new Wisconsin-based institution, to be called Compeer Financial, will hold over $18 billion […]

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With SABMiller Deal Complete, ABI Takes Aim at Craft Brewers

Posted Leah Douglas Beer, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user quinnanya. Anheuser-Busch InBev is angling to control every shelf of your local beer store, and they’re doing it behind the scenes. That may seem surprising, given that the Belgian company has made headlines this year with its nearly complete $108 billion acquisition of SABMiller, the second-largest beer company in the world. But […]

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FTC Allows Grocery Chains to Further Consolidate Power, Harming Farmers, Workers, and Consumers​

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Miscellaneous, Newsletter, Retailers

Farmers, workers, and consumers alike may soon feel the effects of further consolidation in the already concentrated industry of grocery retail. On July 22, the Federal Trade Commission approved the latest in a long series of supermarket mergers, further concentrating control over U.S. food markets in the hands of a few giant corporations. Advocates say the deal will […]

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Photo by Wilson Ring/Associated Press. 

Food & Power Newsletter: Big Food Turns to Congress to Overturn State GMO Labeling Laws

Posted Chris Wager GMOs & Seeds, Leah Douglas, Miscellaneous, Newsletter

Photo by Wilson Ring/Associated Press. After months of debate, Congress in early July established a national standard for the labeling of foods that contain ingredients that have been genetically modified (GMOs). President Obama is expected to sign the bill, officially called the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The new federal standard was strongly opposed by a […]

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Food & Power Newsletter: A Closer Look at the Bayer-Monsanto Merger and the Seed Licensing ‘Cartel’

Posted Chris Wager GMOs & Seeds, Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Newsletter

Bayer’s $62 billion offer to buy Monsanto is the latest in a series of proposed mega-mergers in the seed and agrochemical sectors, following ChemChina’s planned takeover of Syngenta and Dow’s merger with DuPont. These deals have raised fears of higher prices, reduced crop biodiversity, and even greater obstacles to innovation in these industries. But below […]

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Consolidation Is Eating Our Food Economy

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions

A generation ago, America’s farm and food economy was dominated by small family enterprises. Today, just four companies control 65 percent of pork slaughter, 84 percent of cattle slaughter, and 53 percent of chicken slaughter. Milk production is largely shaped by one large processor, Dean Foods, and one large cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America. Recent mergers, such as the Brussels-based Delhaize’s (Food Lion) acquisition of the Dutch company Ahold (Giant, Stop & Shop), have reduced the number of large grocers down to four. What does all this consolidation mean for our food economy?


Why You Should Pay Attention to the Heinz/Kraft Merger

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions in the food sector rarely draw the eye of supermarket shoppers. But name recognition has brought last week’s announced merger of H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group Inc. to the fore of business news. After all, these companies’ products are household staples — most readers of this article probably have a Heinz or Kraft product in their refrigerator right now. While this merger may seem innocuous — who cares that the mac and cheese company owns the ketchup company? — there could be serious ramifications for consumers and producers.