Dutch animal-derived ingredients giant Vion Ingredients – including the Rousselot gelatine business – is set to be acquired by US-based Darling International in a deal worth about €1.6bn, the company said on Monday.
Darling International Inc. provides rendering, recycling and recovery solutions to the US food industry, while Vion Ingredients includes six brands: Rousselot, CTH natural sausage casings, Sonac proteins, fats, edible fats and blood products, Rendac rendering, Best Hides (hides), and Ecoson (green power). The deal is expected to close in January 2014, subject to regulatory approval and consultation with employees in the Netherlands.
Vion Ingredients CEO Dirk Kloosterboer will continue to lead the company’s brands in its operations across all geographies, and will also take on the position of chief operating officer of Darling International.
He said: "Under [Darling International’s] new ownership, we will be able to execute our growth ambitions and provide our employees, customers and suppliers with a unique global platform, driving further product innovation and penetration of new markets."
Vion put its gelatine business up for sale in April. Gelatine prices had been climbing, as raw material availability remained tight. Global demand for gelatine has been increasing too, but rising spending power among Chinese and Latin American consumers has led to greater demand for whole pork carcasses for food – including the skin, which previously was diverted to gelatine production.
Darling International's chairman and CEO Randall C. Stuewe said in a statement: "Our vision of creating a sustainable ingredients business for a growing population is well on its way. The combination of Vion Ingredients with Darling International will create the global leader in converting edible and inedible bio-nutrients streams into specialty products and ingredients for the food, feed, fuel, fertilizer and pharmaceutical industries…. Furthermore, this transaction will further diversify Darling International's revenue and EBITDA profile both geographically and from a product line point of view. "
Vion Ingredients had revenues of about €1.6bn and €200m in EBITDA for FY2012.
Darling plans to finance the transaction through a combination of bank debt, public debt and equity.