ADM on Wild: 'We're getting the people equation right'

by Eric Schroeder
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CHICAGO — Less than six months after Archer Daniels Midland Co. completed its €2.3 billion acquisition of Wild Flavors GmbH, the Chicago-based company said the integration is on track.

In a Feb. 3 conference call with analysts to discuss fiscal 2014 results, Juan Luciano, president and chief executive officer of ADM, said the key has been “getting the people equation right.”

“In this case the capabilities obviously are there,” Mr. Luciano said in response to an analyst’s question about how the win rates are looking with ADM’s large consumer packaged goods clients. “Both (ADM and Wild) were successful companies individually in their own right in ingredients so the capabilities are intact. But the issue is can you combine the people and can you get that? And I am pleased to report that is going extremely well. So we are very confident we are going to beat our 2015 synergy targets.

“In terms of customer, we have had more than 100 customer engagements so far and we have recorded, I was checking with the team late last week, I have every Friday a meeting with them to check this. We had more than 355 ideas with actual efforts behind for each customer. So I wouldn’t disclose any specific customer obviously for confidentiality reasons. These are all innovations that we will keep to ourselves and then hopefully you will see it reflected in revenue growth. But we are very enthusiastic about how customers are responding to the combined capabilities of both companies.”

ADM formed a new business unit called Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients that became a reportable segment beginning Jan. 1.
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