Symrise CFO says more takeovers possible in 2015: paper

FRANKFURT Sat Aug 2, 2014 8:42am EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German scents and flavorings group Symrise will consider new acquisitions in 2015 after buying France's Diana Group this year for 1.3 billion euros, its chief financial officer was quoted on Saturday as saying.

"We're going to concentrate first in the next six months 100 percent on integrating the Diana group," Bernd Hirsch said in an interview with the newspaper Boersen-Zeitung.

"We will have recharged after these six months," he said, giving the group room to maneuver starting in 2015.

Symrise unveiled plans in April to buy France's Diana Group to narrow the gap on top rival Givaudan and expand in natural ingredients and pet food.

The purchase from private equity group Ardian will make Symrise the world's third-biggest scents and flavors company, up from number four, and help it toward a goal of boosting annual sales by around 1 billion euros by 2020.

"I don't see that we'll be limited in any way whatsoever in the coming year, should we look around for further takeover targets," he said.

Neither would it make any sense, however, for consolidation to take place among the top players like Givaudan, he added.

Symrise makes flavors and fragrances used in goods such as drinks, ice cream and perfume, competing with Givaudan, unlisted Firmenich and International Flavors and Fragrances.

It has sought growth partly via acquisitions, buying the global fragrance business of New York-based Belmay Group in 2013 and boosting its stake in Swedish probiotics company Probi this year. It has also increased control over its own supply chain.

Hirsch said he was very satisfied with results so far this year. The firm is due to report quarterly earnings on Aug. 7.

"We see a good combination of growth and profitability. We're going totally according to plan in terms of our medium-term goals," he told the paper.

(Reporting by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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