Billion-pound deal boosts industry leader Givaudan

British chemical group ICI has sold its Dutch-based flavours and fragrance business, Quest, to Swiss company Givaudan. The deal nets ICI ?1.2 billion, and bolsters Givaudan’s leading position in the flavours and fragrances industry. 

ICI’s chief executive John McAdam said that the sale of Quest represented another major step towards realigning the group. ’Proceeds will allow us to accelerate our investments in our strong coatings, adhesives and other specialty chemicals businesses,’ he said. The sale follows ICI’s offloading of oleochemicals business Uniqema to Croda International for ?410 million in September 2006. 

Givaudan’s purchase doubles their share of the flavours and fragrances market to as much as 30 per cent, said CEO Gilles Andrier. The transaction, which still needs the approval of regulators and company shareholders, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year. 

Richard Van Noorden