While total deal value declined in 2018, the consumer industry remained active in seeking non-organic growth opportunities. Consumer sector companies invested for exposure to faster-growing regions, such as China and other Asia-Pacific countries.

Other trends included a move toward digital capabilities with an emphasis on direct-to-consumer technologies, such as online sales channels, and a growing emphasis on categories such as healthy food and drink and all-natural products.

Our Consumer sector group continued to help clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of the industry. We produced thought leadership on a variety of topics impacting and influencing the sector, including M&A and capital markets, disruptive technology, sustainability and corporate responsibility practices, privacy and consumer data issues, shifting sales models, and supply and sourcing matters.

We also launched a hot topics toolkit to keep our clients informed of the latest trends and developments in the food, fashion, retail, and electronics space, and a product lifecycle analysis tool, which takes companies through each step of launching a new product. 

Aimia

We advised Aimia Inc., a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, on its sale of the Nectar loyalty program  and related assets to J Sainsbury Plc.

This transaction, a key element of Aimia's strategic refocusing, built on nearly two decades of work with the client on the Nectar program.

An M&A team from our London office led this transaction with support from lawyers in our Tokyo and Dubai offices and lawyers from our antitrust, cybersecurity, pensions, and real estate practices.

eBay

We advised global commerce leader eBay on its acquisition of the Japan business of Giosis Pte. Ltd., including the Qoo10.jp platform.

The acquisition significantly expands eBay’s footprint in Japan, one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world. Building on the strength of the Qoo10.jp platform, eBay will bring its technology and inventory to Qoo10.jp’s base of two million Japanese buyers.

The transaction was led by M&A teams in our Silicon Valley, London, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo offices, supported by lawyers from our employment, finance, IP, litigation, regulatory, and tax practices.

Navis Capital

We advised Navis Capital Partners on its investment in the Saitex group, a premium denim supplier to many of the world’s leading brands and retailers.

Navis Capital Partners aims to promote ethical and environmentally sustainable textile production through this investment. Saitex embraces environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices, which have reduced power usage and carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 80%.

An M&A team from our Singapore office led this transaction, with additional support from lawyers in our Vietnam offices.

Walmart

We advised Walmart Inc. on its US$16bn acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart Group, a prominent India-based e-commerce marketplace company.

The Flipkart investment transforms Walmart’s position in a country with more than 1.3 billion people, strong GDP growth, a growing middle class, and significant runway for smartphone, internet, and e-commerce penetration.

Our global team was led by M&A lawyers in our Silicon Valley and Singapore offices, with support from lawyers in our employment, finance, IP, and regulatory practices.

Read next: Diversified Industrials M&A