The consumer goods and retail industry is gearing up for a fresh round of mergers and acquisitions, with US firms and players from emerging markets leading the charge.

This is the view of market analysts Mergermarket and a panel of leading M&A experts. In its latest report on global M&A activity published this month, Mergermarket said corporates and private equity players are "putting M&A activity back on the agenda in 2010".

It claimed its market intelligence pointed to significant deal activity in several of the world's leading economies.

The US in particular appeared "poised for brisk transaction activity this year" while the prospects in China and India were bright in both the short and long terms.

The US has led the way in driving deals in the last year, with Kraft's takeover of Cadbury and just last month the buyout of Kettle Foods by Diamond Foods.

"Eighteen months ago no-one had a clue what we were facing," said Akeel Sachak, leading financier and head of global consumer at Rothschild. "Now people have a track record of doing business in a recessionary environment and people can take confidence from that."

Sachak said the Chinese government had taken a view that foreign encroachment had gone far enough and should now start going the other way. He also predicted that Brazilian and Japanese companies would have a major impact in terms of deals.

Read more
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Kettle Chips maker sold to US group Diamond (26 February 2010)
End of an era as Cadbury shareholders rubber-stamp sale (3 February 2010)
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