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According to a study released by the Food Institute, merger and acquisition activity in the food industry in 2002 was off 19 percent from the previous year, and was at the third-lowest level for the past two decades.

The Food Institute reported that the brightest light in the M&A sector was emanated by investment firms and banks, which seemed to have more capital with which to make transactions.

In the retailing side of the business, there were just 26 transactions last year, down 42 percent from 2001.
KC's View:
Gee, we don't think that the idea of investment banks being at the center of successful M&A activity is such a good thing. It reinforces the notion that this industry has to be operated in such a way that efficiency is up and costs are down so that debt can be paid off…even at the expense of programs that enthrall and excite the consumer.