IFF Plans Divestitures Following DuPont Deal

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. is pursuing two divestments after completing the purchase of DuPont de Nemours Inc.’s nutrition and biosciences unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The New York-based company is seeking a buyer for its microbial controls business, which could be valued at $1 billion to $1.5 billion, the people said. It’s also preparing to gauge interest in some food preparation assets that could fetch about $200 million to $300 million, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

IFF is working with Greenhill & Co. on the disposals, the people said. The company is considering divesting some other peripheral businesses later in the year, the people said.

Chief Executive Officer Andreas Fibig is starting to prune IFF’s portfolio, now one of the broadest in the ingredients industry following the company’s $26 billion deal with DuPont. Any deal would add to the $103 billion of mergers and acquisitions involving chemical businesses over the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for IFF and Greenhill declined to comment.

IFF’s microbial unit is a former Dow Inc. business that was transferred to DuPont during the merger of those two companies. The business makes industrial cleaning materials and hygiene chemicals as well as products used in paint formulations and the energy industry, according to its website.

Lonza Group AG saw strong demand when it sought a buyer for a similar specialty chemical business, which included a range of operations including disinfectants and sanitizers that have seen surging demand during the coronavirus pandemic. It attracted interest from buyout firms and industry rivals before agreeing to sell it this month for 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion), including debt, to Bain Capital and Cinven.

IFF’s food preparation business manufactures processed fruit and other preparations used in baked goods and dairy products. IFF agreed to sell some of the assets to Frutarom Industries Ltd. in 2004, then later regained them when it took over Frutarom in 2018.

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