(Recasts; adds analyst quote, background, Givaudan declining to
By Jonathan Saul and Arno Schuetze
LONDON/FRANKFURT May 23 Leading global
agribusiness group Archer Daniels Midland Co is among
the bidders for German drink and food flavors maker Wild in a
transaction valued at 1.5 billion euros ($2.04 billion), sources
familiar with the deal said on Friday.
Any buyer of Wild - the world's sixth-biggest flavor
provider - will get access to a large variety of extracts,
seasonings and colours derived from natural sources, which are
crucial components of processed foods and beverages. Customers
are showing an increasing appetite for foods comprising only
Sources told Reuters in March that Wild had put itself up
"The food additives side of the business is among the
attractions," one source said.
Illinois-based ADM declined to comment. The group is the
world's largest corn processor and one of the world's top
producers of food ingredients, with more than 270 processing
plants on six continents.
ADM has been pursuing opportunities to expand its global
reach since its $2.6 billion bid for grain handler GrainCorp was
blocked by the Australian government in November. ADM announced
in March that it is building a $250 million specialty protein
plant in Brazil and this week said it is building a sweetener
and soluble fiber complex in China.
"Wild Flavors would be a good fit with ADM and would help
the company expand their presence in Europe and improve their
value-added product mix," said Farha Aslam, an analyst with
"We would estimate the transaction would be about 5 to 10
cents accretive to annual EPS including synergies," she said.
Sources said other bidders for Wild included British food
ingredients group Tate & Lyle PLC, Swiss scents and
flavors firm Givaudan, Japanese seasonings maker
Ajinomoto and private equity group EQT.
Tate & Lyle, Givaudan and EQT declined to comment. Ajinomoto
and Wild could not be immediately reached for comment.
Hans-Peter Wild, son of founder Rudolf Wild, owns 65 percent
of Wild Flavors, while buyout group KKR owns 35 percent.
Wild is also the owner of a separate company which makes the
Capri-Sun drink brand.
Since KKR's investment in Wild, the flavor maker has bought
several companies, including agribusiness group Cargill's juice
blends business, mint oil maker A.M. Todd and natural extracts
The sale of Wild comes after German scents and flavours
group Symrise said in April it would buy France's
Diana Group for an agreed 1.3 billion euros as a shake-up in the
sector gathers pace.
Industry sources say Symrise is unlikely to target Wild
after the purchase of Diana.
Wild, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, was founded in
Heidelberg, Germany, in 1931 as a producer of ingredients for
non-alcoholic beverages. About 20 years later, it started
selling Libella, Germany's first carbonated juice drink based
only on natural ingredients.
Wild Flavors posted 2013 sales of almost 900 million euros.
($1 = 0.7336 Euro)
(Additional reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; editing by
David Evans and G Crosse)