Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) PLC has reached an agreement to sell Quest, its flavor and fragrance business, to Givaudan for 1.2 billion GBP (approximately US $2.3 billion). Quest reportedly will be treated as "held for sale" in the year end accounts and the transaction is subject to approval by ICI shareholders, regulatory approval and employee consultation, with the expected completion during the first quarter of 2007.
John McAdam, chief executive of ICI, stated in a press announcement: "The sale of Quest represents another major step towards realigning ICI. The disposal proceeds will allow us to accelerate our investments in our strong coatings, adhesives and other specialty chemicals businesses to deliver higher levels of profitable growth."
“Quest has regained momentum over the last three years thanks to the talent and commitment of its people," said Gilles Andrier, CEO, Givaudan. "Thus, we are very excited to have this unique opportunity of creating an unrivalled industry leader, building on the strength, momentum and common values of both companies.”
According to Givaudan, the acquisition is fully in line with its strategy to focus on developing markets and to capture opportunities in key segments and at key clients. The company expects accelerated growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
ICI is a major specialty products and paints businesses. Alongside Quest, the group's principal businesses are National Starch and ICI Paints, which together account for more than 72% of ICI's sales. ICI products currently include flavours and starches for the food industry, fragrances and specialty polymers for personal care products, adhesives for the electronics and packaging markets, as well as a range of decorative coatings and specialty products for domestic use and the construction industry. Quest is headquartered in Naarden, The Netherlands, and employs approximately 3,400 globally with major activities in the United States, United Kingdom, continental Europe and Asia Pacific.
Givaudan is a leading company in the flavor and fragrance industry with a focus on sensory innovation. Givaudan, based in Vernier, Switzerland, serves global, regional and local customers.