Food Additives Supplier Innophos Nears Deal With Buyout Firm

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(Bloomberg) -- One Rock Capital Partners is in advanced talks to buy Innophos Holdings Inc., a maker of food additives for products including sports drinks and cheese, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private equity firm is close to reaching a deal for the Cranbury, New Jersey-based company, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the discussions are private. No transaction has been finalized and talks could fall through, the people said.

Innophos rose as much as 12% before its shares were halted at $37.53 at 2:57 p.m. in New York trading Thursday, giving it a market value of about $739 million. The shares are up about 15% since Sept. 10, when Bloomberg News reported that the company was working with financial adviser to explore options including a sale.

Representatives for One Rock and Innophos declined to comment.

The talks come amid a steady stream of dealmaking for food-chemicals makers, as the industry grapples with tepid sales and volatile raw-materials prices. Suitors have begun emerging for DuPont de Nemours Inc.’s nutrition and biosciences arm, which the company is considering selling, people familiar with the matter said in August.

Innophos makes ingredients for improving the taste and texture of products including cheese, baked goods and sports drinks, according to its most recent annual report. It also has a division that produces scrubbing agents for toothpaste and ingredients for that make vitamins easier to eat.

One Rock, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, invests in midsize chemicals, manufacturing and distribution businesses, according to its website.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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