DuPont to acquire Danish food ingredients giant Danisco AS for $5.8 billion

DuPont Inc, the world's second largest chemical company by market value, today agreed to buy Danish food ingredients giant Danisco AS for $5.8 billion in cash, in a bid to emerge a global leader in the food and biofuels business.

Copenhagen, Denmark-based Danisco was formed through the country's largest ever industrial merger in 1989 between Danish Sugar, Danish Distillers and Dansk Handels- og Industri Company.

Danisco is one of the world's leading producers of ingredients for food and other consumer products and was also one of the biggest sugar producers in Europe until it hived off its sugar division to in 2009.

Danisco is a leading technology-driven company having specialty food ingredients, including enablers, cultures and sweeteners that generate about 65 per cent of total sales. It also has Genencor, its enzymes division that represents 35 per cent of total sales.

The Copenhagen Stock Exchange-listed company had reported net income of 481 million kroner on sales of  13.71 billion kroner last year.

Danisco and DuPont are already joint venture partners in the development of cellulosic ethanol technology. Danisco has nearly 7,000 employees globally with operations in 23 countries.