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Darr sells companies for $900M

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Officials with longtime southwest Missouri pet food ingredient provider American Dehydrated Foods and International Dehydrated Foods signed an agreement to sell to Germany-based Symrise AG for $900 million, the companies announced this afternoon.

“We are delighted to have found in Symrise a new strong owner for our company,” said ADF/IDF founder William Darr in a news release. “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. Also, Symrise’s wide global presence and broad customer base will allow ADF/IDF to expand its business further.”

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

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

With the purchase, financed by debt and equity, Symrise officials say the company is broadening its activities in the pet food business and expanding its position in the food nutrition market.

“The acquisition of the leading provider of natural pet food nutrition ingredients is a further breakthrough for Symrise into the pet food nutrition market,” said Symrise CEO Heinz-Jurgen Bertram, in the release. “Through this acquisition, we will also broaden our global presence especially in the USA – a strategically important growth market for us – and strengthen our customer base.”

According to the release, the purchase allows Symrise to form a fully integrated supplier of protein specialty ingredients with ADF/IDF’s experience in clean label chicken and egg-based nutrition, along with mutual benefits of joint research and development capabilities.

ADF/IDF, which operates its headquarters at 3801 E. Sunshine St., currently has about 470 employees, according to the release. Company spokesperson Chantel Gebhard was not immediately available for additional comment.

The sale includes ADF/IDF’s IsoNova brand, which specializes in egg proteins for pet foods. The release said the transaction is subject to the “satisfaction of customary closing conditions.”

Springfield Business Journal named Darr the Lifetime Achievement in Business Award winner in 2011.

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