In May 2022, two major ingredients players – DSM and Firmenich – announced plans to create an ‘industry leader’ via a ‘merger of equals’. By bringing the companies together, they aim to combine their respective strengths across the flavours, fragrances and nutritional ingredients segments.
Today (9 May 2023), the enlarged entity known as dsm-firmenich is officially launching with a team of nearly 30,000 employees, a combined revenue of more than €12bn, and what its decisionmakers are describing as ‘unparalleled’ capabilities built on more than a century of ‘cutting-edge’ science.
“dsm-firmenich will be a trailblazer in the reinvention, manufacturing, and combination of vital nutrients, flavours, and fragrances.”
Taste, Texture & Health to account for a quarter of the business
The new Dutch-Swiss company is organised into four businesses: Perfumery & Beauty; Animal Nutrition & Health; Health Nutrition & Care; and Taste, Texture & Health.
This latter business segment aims to help customers create food and beverage products that are delicious, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable, explained dsm-firmenich. It has been estimated that this business will account for 24% of group sales.
When first announcing the merger, former DSM co-CEO Dimitri de Vreeze (now co-CEO of dsm-firmenich alongside the former DSM co-CEO Geraldine Matchett) said he expected the €2.7bn food and beverage unit to undergo the ‘biggest transformation’ when the companies’ capabilities were integrated. DSM said it anticipated an annual sales uplift of circa €500m from combining DSM’s food & beverage and Firmenich’s taste & beyond businesses.
“Today marks a new business for us all that is the culmination of more than a century of ground-breaking science from two great companies,” said the dsm-firmenich co-CEOs.
“dsm-firmenich now stands out as a category of one, uniquely working at the intersection between what people individually want and what we collectively need, without costing the Earth…
“We are truly global, built on an incredible foundation of proven world-class science with the broadest portfolio of nutrients, flavours, and fragrances. We are delighted to embark on this journey together as a single force for good as innovators in nutrition, health, and beauty.”
While DSM’s former co-CEOs are staying on to head up dsm-firmenich (Matchett is also serving as CFO, and de Vreeze as COO), some changes are afoot.
Now that the merger is completed, Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine’s tenure at the company comes to an end. And as of 1 September 2023, DSM’s Matchett will leave the company to ‘further her career elsewhere’. At this point, de Vreeze will become sole CEO of dsm-firmenich.
Other changes include a new company name and identify. The brand has been designed to reflect the company’s purpose and values, and is the expression of a ‘shared identify’, noted dsm-ferminich’s co-CEOs.
“We honour the legacy of DSM and Firmenich by taking the best of both companies in creating a fresh, new identity. It’s lively. It’s vibrant. It’s led by our purpose. Just like dsm-firmenich. This is the beginning of an exciting new time for our employees, our customers, and our partners as we go above and beyond in shaping a positive future for all as we bring progress to life.”
The Dutch-Swiss company is now operating in around 340 sites in close to 60 countries and is listed on the Euronext.