U.S. agricultural commodities group Archer Daniels Midland said it is buying food flavors and specialty ingredients company Wild Flavors for 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) in cash and will assume about 136 million euros of net debt.
ADM, a specialist in oilseeds processing, corn processing and agricultural services, said it will establish a new business unit called Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients and expects the deal to complete by the end of the year.
Reuters had reported in May that Illinois-based ADM was among the bidders for Wild Flavors in a transaction valued at 1.5 billion euros.
Wild Flavors is the world's sixth-biggest flavor provider. Hans-Peter Wild, son of founder Rudolf Wild, owns 65 percent of the company, while private equity firm KKR owns 35 percent.
The company, headquartered in Zug in Switzerland, was founded in Heidelberg in Germany in 1931 as a producer of ingredients for non-alcoholic beverages.
About 20 years later, Wild Flavors started selling Libella, Germany's first carbonated juice drink based only on natural ingredients.
"Together, ADM and Wild Flavors will create one of the leading flavor and specialty ingredient companies in the world, with sales approaching $2.5 billion and significant room to grow," ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said in a statement on Monday.
Barclays is acting as financial adviser to ADM. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal adviser.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)