Symrise CEO Considers Takeovers to Fill Cosmetic-Ingredient Gaps

Symrise AG (SY1) Chief Executive Officer Heinz-Juergen Bertram said he has found gaps in the company’s range of cosmetic ingredients that he may fill with acquisitions or tie-ups as he expands further beyond flavors and fragrances.

Bertram identified areas where Symrise is keen to develop when he attended the In-Cosmetics trade show in Paris in April. These are based on active ingredients for cosmetics rather than bulk products and overlap with Symrise’s existing fragrance operations, the CEO said in a phone interview yesterday, declining to be more specific.

Symrise took a 15 percent stake in Probi AB at the end of last year, helping to lay claim to the Swedish company’s probiotics that can be used in oral-health products. Holzminden, Germany-based Symrise is seeking to advance on the domain of Croda International Plc (CRDA) and BASF SE (BAS)’s Cognis.

“The emulsifiers, the bulky stuff is not the turf where we want to play,” Bertram said. “If you don’t have a good, well-maintained product pipeline, you run the risk of commoditized product lines.”

Symrise outperformed Givaudan SA (GIVN) and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) in the first quarter, with 8 percent sales growth in local currencies, about double the pace of its rivals.

Bertram said the company is gaining market share. By contrast, IFF is merging sites and cutting costs after conducting a strategic review of its fragrance ingredients to improve profitability.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Noel in London at anoel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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