ADM to acquire Wild Flavors for $3.1 billion

by Eric Schroeder
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Wild Flavors provides full flavor and ingredient solutions and fruit juice concentrates and blends, among other food and beverage ingredients.

DECATUR, ILL. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. has reached agreement to acquire Zug, Switzerland-based Wild Flavors GmbH in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion). As part of the deal, ADM will pay €2.2 billion to Wild Flavors shareholders Hans-Peter Wild and funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and assume approximately €0.1 billion of net debt. The transaction is contingent on regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the year.

“This acquisition expands ADM’s ability to serve customers’ evolving needs today and well into the future,” said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer of ADM. “Natural flavor and ingredients is one of the largest and fastest-growing consumer trends in both developed and emerging markets, and Wild Flavors is the world’s leading provider of natural flavor systems to the food and beverage industry.”

Wild Flavors has more than 3,000 customers worldwide and estimated 2014 net revenues of about €1 billion. The company provides full flavor and ingredient solutions — known as flavor systems — and fruit juice concentrates and blends, as well as other food and beverage ingredients, including natural flavors and extracts, mint oils and flavors, colors from natural sources, sweetening systems, seasonings, specialty ingredients, taste modifiers, and fermentation technologies.

“Together, ADM and Wild Flavors will create one of the leading flavor and specialty ingredient companies in the world, with sales approaching $2.5 billion and significant room to grow,” Ms. Woertz said. “Wild Flavors will be able to reach more customers with an expanded portfolio of innovative ingredients. And ADM, with our own sizeable specialty ingredient business, will have an enhanced platform for the commercialization of our higher-margin food and wellness ingredients.

ADM's acquisition of Wild Flavors positions the company to offer a broader range of texture, flavor, nutrition and functional solutions to customers.

“Together, we will be uniquely positioned to offer a broad range of customers — from the largest C.P.G.’s to fast-growing innovators — comprehensive systems-based solutions for food, beverage and personal care products. With our combined global networks, world-class research and innovation capabilities, Wild Flavors’ natural flavor systems, and ADM’s texture, nutrition and functional solutions, we will create an unmatched capability to respond to local consumer preferences and offer complete food solutions that taste great.”

Ms. Woertz said the addition of Wild Flavors “balances and extends” ADM’s value chain.

“It is consistent with our long-term strategy to diversify the crops we process and expand and diversify our product portfolio,” she said. “It complements the ingredient, organic-growth investments we’ve recently made — including our Brazil protein complex and soluble-fiber expansion in China. And it is consistent with actions we’ve taken to dampen the volatility of our earnings mix and deliver on our commitment to profitable growth. The acquisition will meet our return objectives, with estimated cost and revenue synergies of €100 million by year three.”

Dr. Wild, chairman of Wild Flavors, said he was pleased with the acquisition and is excited about the future business Wild and ADM can build.

“Wild Flavor’s unique natural flavors strength and total systems approach will create a very strong and positive development platform within ADM for our customers as we continue to drive innovation in the food and beverage industry,” he said. “With the strong financial resources, and expanded customer base, product offering and global footprint, I am confident Wild Flavors will be well-positioned for growth.”

Ms. Woertz said ADM intends to maintain the Wild Flavors name and grow the brand. She also indicated the company will support the continued success of the Wild Flavors model by establishing a new business unit called Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients. The new unit will include many of ADM’s specialty ingredients.
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