BOCA RATON, FLA. — When Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. acquired Zug, Switzerland-based Wild Flavors GmbH in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.1 billion back in July 2014, the goal was 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. One year into the integration, things are progressing well.
“Year one, we have delivered,” Vince Macciocchi, senior vice-president and president, Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients Business, said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York meeting held Feb. 16 in Boca Raton. “We have a long way to go, but we have delivered results in year one, and we’re very optimistic about where we are headed.”
One area in which Wild has delivered has been on the synergy front. The company had a synergy target of 10c in year one, a goal Mr. Macciocchi said the company was able to achieve.
“It was a record year in the history of the Wild company,” he said. “So I think that serves to note that we’re a very good fit inside of ADM, and the combined power of Wild and ADM has been a very good fit and very appealing at the customer level.”
Mr. Macciocchi said the integration also has delivered on the cost side of the ledger. Using Wild’s headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., as an example, Mr. Macciocchi said a building on campus in Erlanger has gone from 25% occupied pre-merger to now serving as an IT center of excellence for all of ADM, bringing more than 200 jobs to the area.
While revenue synergies may be tougher to come by due to long product development life cycles, Mr. Macciocchi said ADM nonetheless is excited about where it’s at in year one of the Wild integration.
“We have over 700 projects in our pipeline at a value of about $200 million,” he said. “An example of a recent revenue synergy, one we’re very excited about, is there’s a national brand of a juice drink, a natural juice, that utilizes natural color, natural flavor and for the first time our clear soluble protein, Clarisoy. This product is going to launch in the marketplace in the very near future.”
ADM also has moved forward over the past year in investing in facilities and acquiring businesses that are a fit with Wild.
“We’ve completed the increased capacity of non-G.M.O. lecithin in India and in Germany,” Mr. Macciocchi said. “Right now, as we speak, we’re in the midst of building a soy protein complex in Campo Grande, Brazil. A little bit more than a month from now, we will have a ribbon-cutting and a grand opening in our customer innovation center in Cranbury, N.J. So we are investing in our business, in our core businesses.
“I talked a little bit from an M.&A. perspective about Eatem Foods and some of the bolt-ons. Eatem Foods really helps us in the savory arena, from a food-based perspective, savory reaction flavors and they bring tremendous culinary skills to the W.F.S.I. business. California Gold Almonds was a bolt-on early in the year. From a processing standpoint, they aid in manufacturing capacity for the SCI business. And most recently … we announced Harvest Innovations. We’re hopeful that deal closes in the very near future, but really expands our presence from a specialty ingredients, specialty protein perspective, non-G.M.O., gluten-free, organic type of ingredients.”
Offering some final takeaways on year one of the Wild integration, Mr. Macciocchi said the business is benefitting from a “unique product portfolio, very deep technical capabilities, unique service offerings in a value proposition that makes sense across the full range of customers.”“We can support innovation in its many facets in any type of environment, and this is a very tough marketplace,” he said. “Obviously, cost, cost, cost is what we hear about. We can play in that space as well and help solve issues there, as well as bring new innovations to life.”