Innovation & DevelopmentWith the acquisition of ADF/IDF and IsoNova, Symrise has further expanded its portfolio within its Nutrition segment. The US-based companies have decades of experience with protein products from chicken and eggs, which they provide to the pet food, animal feed and food industries. Both sides profit from the purchase: The Group gets a raw material base and broader market access in the USA, and the new colleagues there can offer their products more globally and draw on extensive research in the parent company.
People in the business world often speak of synergies. When two companies join together, they are meant to reinforce each other so the whole becomes stronger than the sum of the two parts. Since Symrise expanded the American family business ADF, IDF and IsoNova for USD 900 million at the end of 2019, the newly acquired companyʼs eleven factories have made a major contribution to sales and profit. Moreover – and this is just as important in the long term – the individual divisions work hand in hand with their partners at Symrise Nutrition. A look at the details shows how this works.
The Americans are working in a field that completes and enriches Symrise portfolio in this form: Using raw materials from chicken production, ADF manufactures pet food ingredients, while IDF produces broth, protein powder and fat products for human consumption. By contrast, IsoNova produces egg proteins.
The merger is now having several synergy effects: One is the pace of research and development and of production and sales. John Tiedeman verifies this by way of the following example from the ADF/IDF – IsoNova point of view: “Because we are now working with Diana Pet Food and Diana Aqua, we’ve been able to accelerate our original five-year plan by 12 to 24 months in some cases.” One example: Diana Aqua has opened doors with major aquaculture feed producers that would have taken IsoNova years to gain access to on their own. The company expects commercial sales in early 2021 – something that IsoNova didn’t project in its original business plans until at least 2022. The manager previously supervised the egg protein business at IsoNova and is now the General Manager responsible for Animal Nutrition within the Nutrition segment. He thinks the acquisition by Symrise has changed a number of things. “Our company was a family business, which we all very much appreciated,” he describes his impressions. “I recognize many of the positive aspects of a family business in Symrise: enthusiasm about the product, for example, and commitment to the work.”
I recognize many of the positive aspects of a family business in Symrise.
Another synergy effect is the sheer power of the Group. “With ADF, for example, we were only active in half a dozen countries outside the USA; now the whole world is open to us,” says John Tiedeman. Added to this are entirely new markets. “Because Diana Aqua is active around the world, we can now sell IsoNova proteins to aquaculture companies in a much more targeted manner.” Conversely, Symrise benefits from much better access to the American market through ADF and IsoNova. IsoNova, for example, obtains its egg raw materials from 185 of the 220 or so egg processing companies in the USA and thus has a large and diversified supplier base. Conversely, the entire Group can now also position itself more globally in this area.
This is true for all business units. “If we look at the area of food, IDF used to provide the broth while Diana Food brought the vegetables. Now we’re delivering all the soup. That’s a really simple way of describing the synergies,” explains Steve Arrick, President of ADF/IDF, with a laugh. “There aren’t many companies that can do that,” says Steve. “When it was clear the acquisition was happening, we started the integration process right away and had an intensive exchange of ideas with our counterparts,” comments Steve. “HR, financial, IT teams, but also all business and support functions teams have played a major role in the coalescence of the companies."
With ADF we were only active in half a dozen countries outside the USA – now the whole world is open to us.
Multiple workshops – some of which had to be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic – allowed employees from both sides to work closely together. “Fortunately, even before the coronavirus really broke out, we organized a kickoff week at the locations in Rennes, Vannes and Antrain in France. This allowed us to get to know each other personally, which helped as the work teams progressed,” says Chantel Gebhard, HR VP within ADF/IDF. The integration process required a lot of patience on all sides and the determination to bring a large-scale project together. “We are confident in the work completed and synergies identified, and we look forward to more opportunities that will come in the future.”
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