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ADF/IDF, located at 3801 E. Sunshine St., recorded sales of $220 million in 2018.
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
ADF/IDF, located at 3801 E. Sunshine St., recorded sales of $220 million in 2018.

2019 Year in Review No. 2: Darr sells ADF/IDF companies for $900M

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SPRINGFIELD— Veteran southwest Missouri pet food ingredient providers American Dehydrated Foods and International Dehydrated Foods found a suitor in Germany for a whopping $900 million. Global company Symrise AG agreed to purchase Bill Darr’s businesses in late January.

“We are delighted to have found in Symrise a new strong owner for our company,” ADF/IDF founder Darr said in a news release at the time. “We are both committed to high-quality natural products derived from sustainable resources. Our company will benefit from Symrise’s scientific know-how to further improve our products.”

Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavors, food and cosmetic ingredients that recorded sales of 3 billion euros in fiscal 2017.

Darr founded ADF/IDF in 1978 and built the meat and egg-based protein provider to annual sales of $220 million in 2018. The Springfield-based company operates 11 manufacturing sites and two technical centers in North America. At the time of the sale, company officials identified ADF/IDF’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization margin at 23%.

The deal closed nine months later, following regulatory approvals by the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division and a site visit by a Symrise official from France.

“For us, it’s an important move into pet food,” said Jean-Yves Parisot, president of Symrise’s nutrition division, while visiting ADF/IDF’s 3801 E. Sunshine St. office in February.

Symrise officials say the ADF/IDF names would remain, as will the companies’ workforce – roughly 60 in Springfield and 500 employees total. The companies are led by President and CEO Andrew Herr and board Chairman Kurt Hellweg.

“It’s not a takeover. It’s more merger style,” Parisot said.

The deal is the largest publicly disclosed business sale in Springfield history. Those involved say ADF/IDF sought a buyer and talks began with Symrise officials in late 2018.

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