German fragrance and flavours house Symrise has increased its stake in Swedish probiotics specialist Probi to 30.03%, and is now obliged under law to make a formal takeover bid.
Symrise said it will make an official statement within four weeks but noted if it proceeded with a buy-out bid, "the offered price will amount to 40.10 Swedish kronor (€4.50) per share, which corresponds to the highest price paid by Symrise during the last six months."
Symrise first took an interest in Probi when it bought an 11.8% stake in August, 2011, which it has gradually increased since.
The two companies announced a formal R&D collaboration at the end of 2012, at which time Symrise spokesperson Bernhard Kott told us oral probiotic supplements were likely to reach market this year or next.
“This is just the starting point, it will take time, but we will also work with academics and research institutions,” Kott said. “We have a lot of expertise in mints and these are a first product area for immunity and gut health and other health areas will also be explored.”
Probi had sales of about €11.25m in 2012 and has commercial ties with Danone and Merck among others.
Symrise is the world’s fourth largest supplier of fragrances and flavourings after Givaudan, Firmenich and International Flavors and Fragrances. It operates in 160 countries and had a turnover of €1.74bn in 2012.
Probi has around 5000 shareholders.
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