Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) will buy WILD Flavors for €2.3bn citing fast-growing demand for natural food and beverage flavors and ingredients as the rationale.
The all-cash transaction will involve ADM paying WILD shareholder Dr Hans-Peter Wild and funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P €2.2bn – it will assume net debt of €1bn.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals but both parties expect it to close by the end of the year.
Patricia Woertz, ADM CEO, said the mega merger would create a flavor and specialty ingredients concern with sales approaching $2.5bn and unlocks €100m of synergy savings after three years.
"WILD Flavors will be able to reach more customers with an expanded portfolio of innovative ingredients. And ADM, with our own sizable specialty ingredient business, will have an enhanced platform for the commercialization of our higher margin food and wellness ingredients," she added.
Woertz said buying WILD would "balance and extend our value chain", as it strives to diversify the crops it processes and expand and diversify its product portfolio.
"It complements the...organic growth investments we've recently made -- including our Brazil protein complex and soluble fiber expansion in China," she said.
"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."
Woertz also reassured investors that ADM intended to maintain the WILD Flavors name and "grow the brand and the innovative entrepreneurial culture that sustains it".
"We appreciate the difference in our business models, and will support continued success of the WILD Flavors model by establishing a new business unit called WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients," she said.
WILD's 400+ scientists, applications specialists and global sales force also brought "exceptional expertise and new capabilities" to ADM, Woetz added.
Dr Hans-Peter Wild, chairman of WILD Flavors, said the strong financial resources the deal with ADM would bring, coupled with an expanded customer base, product portfolio and global footprint would position WILD effectively for future growth.
WILD Flavors has 3,000+ customers worldwide and estimated 2014 net revenues of about €1bn. It sells flavor systems, fruit juice concentrates and blends,natural flavors and extracts, mint oils and flavors, colors from natural sources, sweetening systems, seasonings, specialty ingredients, taste modifiers, and fermentation technologies.