Symrise Rises to Record on Report Ajinomoto Eyeing Offer

Symrise AG rose to a record after Platow Brief reported that Japanese rival Ajinomoto Co. may be interested in buying the German maker of flavors and fragrances.

Symrise shares gained as much as 7.4 percent to 42.05 euros in Frankfurt trading. Ajinomoto hired an investment bank to help prepare a deal, Platow Brief reported, without saying where it got the information.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s agreed deal to buy Wild Flavors for 2.3 billion euros ($3.1 billion) earlier this week is spurring speculation of further consolidation in the ingredients industry against a backdrop of a limited number of larger available targets. Tokyo-based Ajinomoto also participated in the Wild Flavors auction.

“Symrise is not likely to be Ajinomoto´s preferred target,” DZ Bank analyst Thomas Maul wrote in a note today.

Ajinomoto would need to pay about 7 billion euros to acquire Symrise, “a size too big” for the Japanese company, Maul said. Its interest in the German maker of natural flavorings, and in Diana Ingredients, being bought by Symrise for 1.3 billion euros, indicates Ajinomoto’s focus is on food ingredients rather than on non-food operations that account for 40 percent of Symrise’s business, he said.

Stock of Symrise was up 2.2 percent at 40 euros as of 10:30 a.m. local time. The shares have gained 20 percent this year for a market value of 5.2 billion euros.

Spokespeople for Symrise and Ajinomoto declined to comment.

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