Can DSM Firmenich merger deliver on its synergistic promise?

Amanda Gerla

The deal rivals that of the 2021 €20bn+ (£17bn+) merger between International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) and DuPont’s Nutrition and Biosciences division.

The Dutch and Swiss firms have spoken much of the synergies they predict will save at least €175 million (£149m), while not cutting too many of 28,000 jobs and keeping annual R&D spends higher than most rivals at 9.3% of revenue – about €700m (£145m).

By comparison, Givaudan spends 8.4% of its revenues on R&D, IFF/DuPont 6.1% and Symrise 5.9%.

The deal may not be slated to complete until H1 2023 – regulator approval forthcoming – but DSM Firmenich, as the €40bn (£34bn) entity will be known, is already live and kicking with a bespoke website​ spelling out its science, innovation, sustainability and purpose-driven vision.

A vision it says will “positively impact people and the planet…Leveraging world-class science and complementary capabilities in fragrance, taste, texture and nutrition”.

Botanical benefits

Robert Harwood, PhD, Oxford-based CEO of CPL Business Consultants, sees many positives in the union, one being a complementary fusion of the firms’ botanicals processing capabilities.

“One driver in this deal is access to new technologies, especially in fermentation and extraction,”​ Dr Harwood told NutraIngredients.

DSM sees itself as a bio-based company and diversifying the portfolio of products it can offer in specific areas is a strategic aim. The botanicals business will complement DSM’s bio-based business. It acquired Amyris in 2021 – its chosen route has been more along the lines of fermentation rather than extraction.

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