Cramer: Food Companies Are Ripe for Acquisitions

 | Nov 08, 2016 | 3:28 PM EST
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Stock quotes in this article:

mdlz

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hnz

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vrx

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cpb

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gis

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k

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pep

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cag

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wwav

Let's see, hmm, Mondelez International (MDLZ) up a buck ninety-five? Is that large shareholder Bill Ackman sabre rattling for a deal with 3G, which is reportedly raising $8 billion to $10 billion for a buyout fund, according to The Deal this morning. Or is he trying to marry it up with Kraft Heinz Foods (HNZ) in order to make up for Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) ? Makes sense. Totally get it. Certainly worth provoking if you were him.

Is Campbell Soup (CPB) or General Mills (GIS) ripe for the taking? A buyer of 2300 Mills November 65 calls can sure make that happen. Same with 1400 Campbells' November 57.5s. Not a lot to lose there.

Why not?

Rates are low.

Price is right.

Is Kellogg (K) once again in the cross hairs of someone bigger than it?

It's been weeks since we have heard of those rumors so I guess it's time. We've been devoid any food takeovers for a bit now and I am sure someone's cooking up something for the moribund group that always seems to catch a bid after a period in purgatory.

Why does it happen? I think it's because of a perception that these deals work. There is no growth in the center of the supermarket. None. These companies are just duking it out over every square inch. Plus they see PepsiCo (PEP) , which has the highest turns of any food company, encroaching all over the place. They have to make moves.

I keep coming back to the success of the Kraft-Heinz deal: Two companies with little growth that just reported a weak quarter and are up anyway.

Or if you look at all the anti-competitive beer deals you see some real gains, too.

If I had to buy one of these I would buy General Mills. It's down a huge amount on a missed quarter, but I think it has ammo to do a ton of things including what ConAgra (CAG) just did in terms of spinning off products or what Danone did in terms of buying WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) . I like Mondelez because of Ackman -- I love the "Peak Ackman" piece that Doug Kass put together today. These all just make too much sense to ignore.

So speculate away.

I bet Ackman makes something happen in this group. He needs it. What Ackman used to want he used to get.

Now with Valeant hobbled, it is time to pull the rabbit out of the hat. The food group is saying that.

Just seems ripe and will be very hard to shoot down without earnings to stink up the joint.

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