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Symrise wins battle for Diana Group with €1.3bn bid

By Nathan Gray+

Last updated on 14-Apr-2014 at 14:22 GMT2014-04-14T14:22:44Z

Symrise chief:
Symrise chief: "We believe that a multiple of around 14 times EBITDA (2013) represents an attractive valuation."

German flavours and aromas specialist Symrise has won the battle for French flavour and ingredients producer Diana, after agreeing a deal that values the firm at €1.3bn.

Symrise has made a binding offer to acquire French food ingredient maker Diana Group from private equity firm Ardian. Symrise did not confirm whether the offer had the approval of Diana's owners, but said both parties had 'agreed on exclusivity' while a consultation with workers' council proceeds.

The deal will see Symrise - the world's fourth largest scents and flavours company - significantly expand its position in the flavours and aromas market, closing the gap on larger rivals Givaudan SA, Firmenich International SA, and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.

“The proposed acquisition represents a major milestone for Symrise right after our 10th anniversary, and is fully in line with our strategic objective to further accelerate profitable growth," said Symrise CEO Dr Heinz Jürgen Bertram. "Diana Group is an impressive and highly profitable business with a strong complementary fit to our activities."

Dr Bertram said the acquisition of Diana will help to 'significantly diversify' the firms portfolio for natural ingredients, tap into new business segments, strengthen raw material supply and help to improve traceability in its supply chain.

"The planned integration of Diana will create an unparalleled set-up which will offer us new opportunities for profitable growth beyond our current market and establish an excellent position to generate value in the future," said Bertram.

The deal will also see Symrise enter the 'highly attractive' pet food market and will strengthen its backward integration due to Diana Group's 'unique raw material base', said Symrise.

The purchase, expected to complete in the third quarter, values Diana at about 14 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). The combined company will generate sales of almost €2.3bn.

"We believe that a multiple of around 14 times EBITDA (2013) represents an attractive valuation, given the quality of Diana's product and customer base, its high-margin characteristics, and the future growth prospects of the business," said Dr Bertram.

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