Private Equity Firms are Getting Out of Consumer Businesses

In 2023, consumer businesses accounted for 15% of PE-backed exits in North America.

Consumer businesses have long been targeted by private equity firms, with some of the largest and most well-known buyouts originating from this sector, including Nabisco, Hilton, Harrah’s, and Heinz. However, recent analysis of buyout and exit transactions indicates a declining interest in consumer businesses among private equity firms.

Over the past three years, private equity firms have been exiting consumer businesses at a faster rate than they have been acquiring them. In 2023, consumer businesses constituted 15.1% of PE-backed exits in North America but only 5.1% of new buyouts, according to data from Dealogic and Mergermarket. Two years prior, consumer businesses represented 11.7% of exits and 6.9% of buyouts.

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