Corn Products International has unveiled plans to change its name to Ingredion to better reflect its role as a supplier of a broad range of ingredients.
The firm, which broadened its portfolio with the $1.3bn acquisition of National Starch in late 2010, will ask shareholders to vote on the name change at its annual meeting in May.
Assuming it is approved, bosses anticipate a global transition to the new brand and logo over the next two years, with all geographies using the Ingredion name by the end of 2013, said chief executive Ilene Gordon.
“The first part of the name represents ‘ingredients,’ while the second part has its roots in the Greek word that means ‘something that goes.’ It says clearly that we’re an ingredient solutions company.”
No change in strategy
She added: “Ingredion doesn't represent a change in strategy or a change in the strong business model that we've built. It does, however, better reflect the diversity and growth of our product offerings and is more representative of the stronger, more global company we have become."
What does Corn Products International do?
Speaking to analysts during the firm's Q4, 2011, earnings call last week, Gordon said: "Our model is actually very simple... Fundamentally, we purchase raw materials, largely corn, process them to add value and sell those starch and sweetener ingredients primarily to food, beverage and brewing customers around the world.
"We don’t operate a commodities trading business. We don’t have a logistics business. And we don’t take physical ownership of raw materials beyond what we need to properly run our operations. Put another way, we are not an agri-business company but rather an ingredient company."
National Starch acquisition
Significant progress had been made in 2011 on the integration of National Starch, with bosses "putting in place IT systems, human resource programs, and re-aligning manufacturing, to name some of the larger projects", added Gordon.
While the company had had to contend with "economic malaise" in the US, "recession-like conditions" in Europe, the tsunami in Japan, flooding in Thailand and poor weather in Brazil during the year, "many of our markets remained strong like Mexico, most of South America and Pakistan", noted Gordon.
As for south America, where the company has raised prices to offset higher input costs and devaluing currencies, slower economic activity and bad weather had affected results, said Gordon.
But she added: "I want to be definitive about our bullish long-term view of South America and encourage you not to draw conclusions from one quarter. We continue to make significant capital investments and are setting ourselves up to benefit from growth in the region."