German scents, flavours maker Symrise to buy Diana Group for $1.8 bn

German scents and flavours maker Symrise has tabled a binding offer to buy French food ingredients maker Diana Group from private equity firm Ardian for €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) including debt.

German scents, flavours maker Symrise to buy Diana Group for $1.8 bnSymrise said that it has already secured the required bridge financing and the final financing structure will comprise of debt and equity.

Symrise outbid Japanese producer of seasonings and curry sauces, Ajinomoto, and private equity giants Blackstone Group, CVC Capital Partners, Eurazeo, and BC Partners in the third round of the auction.

In 2007 Paris-based Ardian, headed by private equity veteran Dominique Senequier, acquired Diana from European buyout firm Cognetas for €710 million including debt.

Symrise, based in Holzminden, Germany said that the planned acquisition will significantly expand its position in the flavour and nutrition market, and expand its activities into the highly attractive pet food market.

Founded in 1990, Diana provides natural functional solutions and organoleptic solutions based on natural ingredients for food, pet food, nutraceuticals, aquaculture, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

The Brittany-based company offers functional solutions based on vegetable and animal natural ingredients, culinary solutions for the food industry with specialisation in retextured solutions, functional proteins and coloring solutions.

It has 27 plants, 16 sales offices, 1500 employees in 23 countries in Europe, North and Latin America as well as Asia.

With more than 2,000 employees, the company generated sales of €425 million and an EBITDA margin of 21 per cent in 2013.

Dr Heinz Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise said, ''Diana Group is an impressive and highly profitable business with a strong complementary fit to our activities in the Flavor & Nutrition market. With Diana we will be able to significantly diversify our portfolio for natural ingredients, tap into new business segments, strengthen our raw material supply and meet the requests for traceability from our customers.''

Symrise is the world's biggest supplier of fragrances, flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials as well as functional ingredients.

With 2013 sales of over €1.8 billion, the company operates in over 35 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the US and Latin America.

Its clients include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, food and beverages, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements.