Givaudan Chief Highlights M&A in Strategic Plan to Woo Investors

  • Potential for acquisitions in active cosmetic ingredients
  • CEO Andrier says committed to maintaing dividend policy

Givaudan SA, the Swiss supplier of fragrances to Christian Dior SA, plans to pursue mergers and acquisitions as part of a five-year strategic plan designed to grab momentum back from faster-growing competitors such as Symrise AG.

The company is targeting average sales growth of 4 percent to 5 percent excluding any purchases, with Givaudan planning to accelerate expansion in emerging markets such as India and China, Chief Executive Officer Gilles Andrier said in a statement Thursday. Areas for potential M&A include ingredients for health, food and beverage products.

Now in his 11th year at the helm, Andrier set out his blueprint for reigniting investor interest in the world’s largest flavors and fragrance supplier. Of the 24 analysts covering the stock, only seven recommend buying the shares. Andrier pledged to deliver average free cash flow of 12 percent to 17 percent over the next five years, and the company said it will maintain its current dividend policy.

“We intend to create further shareholder value through profitable growth and acquisitions,” Andrier said in the statement.

Givaudan shares have slipped 8.6 percent this year in Zurich. Symrise has added 5.7 percent and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. is up 5.8 percent.