By approving the transaction on April 25, the anti-trust authorities sealed the deal on what is Symrise's largest acquisition to date. Headquartered in Germany, Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavorings and active ingredients for the perfume, cosmetics and food industry. Danish Chr Hansen specializes in cultures, enzymes and colorings for use in the food and other industries. Symrise claims to rank within the top four international flavor and fragrances firms in the world, with €1.27bn ($1.99bn) in sales in 2007 - as such, the fact it has been making an overt push into the North American market should get the attention of competitors. The firm already operates across the globe, with 31 sites in Europe, Asia, the US and South America. However, it has indicated that stepping up production capacity in the US will improve its competitiveness in North America, where Chr Hansen already had a strong hold in flavors. In fact, Chr Hansen's flavors division saw sales of around US$70m (€50m) in 2007, approximately 80 percent of which were in the US market. The company's flavors division covers dairy flavors, savory flavors, sweet flavors and seasonings sectors. Meanwhile in March, Symrise announced that after strong performance in emerging markets, its priority is to take a stronger hold of the US market. But the company is also expanding north of the border. This January Symrise signed an agreement with The Ingredient Company to build its ingredients distribution market to the Canadian market. With the current deal, Symrise will not only benefit from Chr Hansen's clientele and distribution networks, but also from its research expertise and flavor production technology. The businesses bought by Symrise are based in Mahwah, NJ, Elyria, OH and Milwaukee, WI, and sell flavors to a wide range of US customers, including both packaged food producers and food service groups. The company has attributed the strong result for its flavors in 2007 to an increase in sales for its Taste-for-Life range, which was developed to allow for less sugar, salt and fat without taking away from taste. According to Leffingwell and Associates, the global flavors and fragrance market is worth an estimated $19.9bn. Flavors are thought to make up just under half of this, of which North America accounts for just over a third. Chr Hansen has experienced growth for its natural colors in emerging markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East, as the trend for natural flavors expands worldwide. The company's three main divisions have traditionally been: cultures and enzymes; natural colors; health and nutrition. With its research facilities located in Denmark, the company also has development centers in Denmark, the US, France and Germany.
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