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DSM and Firmenich to merge

DSM and Firmenich announced they agreed to merge. The partnership, to be called DSM-Firmenich, will work on innovation in nutrition, well-being and beauty, bringing together Firmenich’s Perfumery and Taste businesses, its science platforms with DSM’s Health and Nutrition portfolio and renowned scientific expertise. The new company will have four complementary businesses.

The merger of DSM-Firmenich will serve the food and beverage industry, combining DSM’s Food & Beverage and Firmenich’s Taste & Beyond businesses. DSM-Firmenich will provide capabilities across fragrance, taste, texture and nutrition, fueled by science, aiming to anticipate and address the needs of today’s conscious consumers who prioritize sustainability, health and well-being.

The merger is subject to customary conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory clearances and completing relevant employee consultation procedures and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. With a staff of 28,000, DSM-Firmenich will have a dual headquarter in Switzerland (Kaiseraugst) and the Netherlands (Maastricht).

Thomas Leysen, Chairman of the DSM Supervisory Board, commented: “DSM-Firmenich will bring together leading creativity and cutting-edge science and innovation. Together, we will be able to better serve the needs of customers and deliver compelling growth and returns. However, successful mergers require more than complementary capabilities or compelling financials; they not only require balanced governance and respect for the interests of all stakeholders, but they crucially require shared values. My colleagues and I are convinced we have all of those elements, and it is for this reason that the Supervisory Board of DSM concluded that this is truly a merger which is in the interest of all stakeholders.”

Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of Firmenich, also commented in a joint statement: “The combination of DSM and Firmenich is transformational, and brings together two culturally aligned and iconic businesses, each with over 125 years’ heritage of innovation. Our shared purpose and common values, combined with our highly complementary capabilities give me confidence we can accelerate our growth further through innovation and new creations. I am confident that for all stakeholders of the future DSM-Firmenich business, the most exciting times are still to come.”

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEOs of DSM, commented: “We are honored to propose the combination of DSM and Firmenich, and the opportunity to bring together 28,000 passionate people with a common commitment to enable our customers to realize their ambitions as we better the health and well-being of people and the planet. Together DSM-Firmenich will enjoy complementary capabilities, including one of the largest creation communities in the industry, enabling us to unlock new opportunities for customers as well as position us to deliver enhanced long-term growth and shareholder value, sustainably. By coming together, we will establish a company where anyone, anywhere in the world, wishing to make a positive impact should aspire to work.”

Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich, added: “This is the natural next step in Firmenich’s evolution. We are excited to build on Firmenich’s tradition of entrepreneurial excellence and create a global leader that will be able to bring breakthrough innovation and technologies to our customers, addressing the most pressing needs of consumers. DSM shares our purpose-led values and, like us, creates value for its customers through its science-based approach and pioneering technologies, making a real difference to people and planet. I am excited that the legacy of Firmenich will shape a new industry leader that will innovate for a better world.”

The four complementary businesses under DSM-Firmenich are:

  • Food & Beverage / Taste & Beyond, with combined revenues of €EUR 2.7bn. The new business aims to create healthier, great-tasting, accessible food and beverages with more natural and sustainable ingredients (i.e., clean label products, plant-based foods, improved taste and nutritional profiles)
  • Health, Nutrition & Care, with revenues of EUR 2.2bn, focuses on providing customized solutions that support the health of people at every life stage
  • Perfumery & Beauty, with combined revenues of EUR 3.3bn
  • Animal Nutrition & Health, with revenues of EUR 3.3bn

Both companies bring together a network of 15 global R&D facilities, addressing all major and emerging disciplines in the markets served. “At DSM-Firmenich’s core will be deep science capabilities, with significant cross-fertilization opportunities in bioscience, fermentation, green chemistry, receptor biology, sensory perception and formulation, augmented by analytical sciences, data sciences and artificial intelligence,” the announcement detailed.

The DSM-Firmenich Board and leadership roles will include:

  • Thomas Leysen, current Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DSM, to be appointed Chairman of DSM-Firmenich and Patrick Firmenich, currently Chairman of Firmenich, to be appointed Vice Chairman
  • Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, currently Co-CEOs of DSM, to be appointed Co-CEOs of DSM-Firmenich (including CFO and COO responsibilities respectively)
  • Emmanuel Butstraen, currently President of Taste & Beyond at Firmenich to be appointed Chief Integration Officer

Photos: DSM