ADM close to $3.4 billion deal to buy Wild Flavors: Bloomberg

Thu Jul 3, 2014 4:21pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) is close to buying natural food ingredients maker Wild Flavors GmbH, backed by buyout group KKR & Co (KKR.N), for about 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion), Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. agribusiness company outbid Japanese rival Ajinomoto Co Inc (2802.T) for Wild Flavors, the people told Bloomberg, asking not to be named as the matter isn't public. (bloom.bg/1j0raTY)

While a deal may be announced in the coming days, a final decision hasn't been made, Bloomberg reported.

ADM told Reuters on Thursday that it did not comment on speculation. Wild Flavors could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reuters reported in May that ADM was among the bidders for Wild Flavors in a transaction valued at 1.5 billion euros.

Wild Flavors is the world's sixth-biggest flavor provider.

Hans-Peter Wild, son of founder Rudolf Wild, owns 65 percent of Wild Flavors, while KKR owns 35 percent.

The company, headquartered in Zug in Switzerland, was founded in Heidelberg in Germany in 1931 as a producer of ingredients for non-alcoholic beverages.

About 20 years later, Wild Flavors started selling Libella, Germany's first carbonated juice drink based only on natural ingredients.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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