ADM Buys Wild Flavors

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Decatur, Ill., is entering the flavors business, with an emphasis on "natural," by acquiring Wild Flavors GmbH for approximately $3.13 billion, the companies announced July 7.

“This acquisition expands ADM’s ability to serve customers’ evolving needs today and well into the future,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “Natural flavor and ingredients is one of the largest and fastest-growing consumer trends in both developed and emerging markets, and Wild Flavors is the world’s leading provider of natural flavor systems to the food and beverage industry.”

Wild has 2014 net revenues of about $1.3 billion, and Reuters reported the company expects 2014 earnings of almost $190 million. The world's sixth-largest flavor provider, it's headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with management offices in Heidelberg-Eppelheim, Germany. Hans-Peter Wild, son of founder Rudolf Wild, owns 65 percent and private equity firm KKR holds 35 percent. Wild also owns a separate company that makes Capri-Sun beverages but that's not part of the deal, according to Reuters.

Reuters also reported that other bidders included Ajinomoto, Tate & Lyle, Givaudan and private equity group EQT.

"We intend to maintain the Wild Flavors name and grow the brand and the innovative, entrepreneurial culture that sustains it," said Woertz. "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. The new unit will include many of our specialty ingredients."

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