SOUTH AFRICA – Swiss flavors and fragrance company Firmenich has announced its intention to acquire Flavourome, a privately-owned flavors company in South Africa, as it focuses its attention to Africa.

Located in Midrand, South Africa, Flavourome has a strong presence in South Africa and the regional African market. It has been in operation since 1998.

The company is a supplier of liquid and powder flavour solutions to the beverage, sweet, snack and general food industries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The company has been an important distributor to Firmenich, with the acquisition set to help Firmenich accelerate its business growth into the strategic African “region by gaining direct access to new customers”, says Firmenich.

It will also enable Firmenich to operate its own manufacturing facility in South Africa to serve the regional African market, the second after having opened a flavors processing facility in Lagos, Nigeria in 2016.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

“The Sub-Saharan Africa region, with its population of 800 million, represents a strategic growth market for Firmenich,” says Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board, Firmenich.

“As Firmenich has been operating in South Africa for 30 years, this acquisition is a natural extension of our commitment to building long-lasting customer partnerships in the region”.

“We are proud to have developed strong relationships with leading food companies in South Africa over the years that have supported our commitment to innovation and service. I am also tremendously grateful to all the Flavourome employees who have fueled our success,” David Wright, the Founder and CEO, Flavourome.

The acquisition by Firmenich follows an earlier transaction in October 2016, where Spirit Capital, a private equity fund and a local partner took 50% shareholding in Flavourome, for an undisclosed value.

It is not clear what the new transaction portends for the Spirit Capital stake.

“Building on Flavourome’s established business in South Africa, I am delighted to be expanding Firmenich’s capabilities in this strategic region,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich.

“This milestone confirms our commitment to shape winning solutions for our customers in South Africa and beyond.”

“This transaction accelerates Firmenich’s commitment to developing unique experiences suited to local market needs and preferences. It adds to the Group’s strategic commitment to grow in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the company said in a statement.

The completion of this transaction is expected to close by March 2018, pending regulatory approvals.