Boulder is poised for a level of merger and acquisition activity we’ve never seen before. Billions of dollars in closed and pending mergers and acquisitions have already been announced in 2018, from very large deals such as ConAgra’s $11B pending acquisition of Pinnacle Foods/Boulder Brands, to smaller but equally important strategic moves like Biodesix’s acquisition of Integrated Diagnostics. In total, the number of transactions announced to date this year has already exceeded the average activity seen annually over the past decade. A list of M&A deals to date is shown at the end of this story.
It’s too early to say how this M&A activity will ultimately affect Boulder’s economy. The business consolidation we’re seeing could mean more local job opportunities, an infusion of new capital, and more demand for real estate.
M&A activity also could translate into new serial entrepreneurs and investors locally. As founders and early investors sell their business interests to new owners, some might leverage their capital to support new ventures. Boulder’s natural food industry is a good example; decades of M&A activity have produced many successful entrepreneurs with significant capital to reinvest in new generations of startups.
On the other hand, some M&A activity could mean greater exposure to business decisions made by out-of-state investors and owners which could negatively impact our local economy. It could mean more competition for talent and real estate already in short supply. We could even see less company diversification within our key industries if Boulder startup activity or other small business creation slows.
The Boulder Economic Council and Boulder Chamber will continue to monitor M&A activity as part of our ongoing economic research activity and our collaboration with CU Boulder’s Business Research Division and other partners. We’ll report on new developments and emerging trends as they become evident and respond to address any resulting challenges for the Boulder economy.
M&A Activity to Date in 2018
(Boulder businesses acquired by others, unless noted as acquirers)
- Alfalfa’s – Lincoln Property & Alliance Bernstein
- AlsoEnergy (acquirer) – Skytron Energy, Draker Corp
- Biodesix (acquirer) – Integrated Diagnostics
- Bryan Cave – Berwin Leighton Paisner
- CA Technologies – Broadcom
- Cerretani Aviation – NetJets
- COBiz Financial – BOK Financial
- EKS&H – Plante Moran
- Guaranty Bank – Independent Bank Group
- Green Chef – Hello Fresh
- Grenadier – Barkley
- Good Karma Foods – Dean Foods
- iBirth – Babyscripts
- ISONAS – Allegion
- KBI Biopharma (acquirer) – Elion Labs
- LogRhythm – Thoma Bravo
- MinuteKey – The Hillman Group
- New Resource Bank – Amalgamated Bank
- Pinnacle Foods – ConAgra
- Research Electro Optics – Excelitas Technologies
- Sphero (acquirer) – Specdrums
- VictorOps – Splunk
- Winking Girl! Foods – Tres Latin Foods
- Zayo Group (acquirer) – Network Path, Optic Zoo Networks, Spread Networks
- 1908 Brands (acquirer) – Bundle Organics
- 7GENx – Doyen Elements