IRELAND – Kerry Group has finalized the 500 million euros (US$538 million) sale deal for its sweet ingredients portfolio, which officially transfers the business to US-based chocolate, creams, and semi-finished food specialist, IRCA.

Kerry, whose ingredients reach more than a billion people around the world, said the sale would help to refine its core taste and nutrition business, which it has recently boosted with several more technology-focused acquisitions.

The Sweet Ingredients Portfolio is a leading manufacturer of sweet and cereal products with a range of technological capabilities, primarily serving the end markets of bakery, cereal, confectionery, dairy, and ice cream in Europe and the US.

Its operational footprint covers four manufacturing facilities in the US (in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and California), and six facilities across the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and France.

The portfolio incorporates a range of products spanning sweet particulates, chocolate confections, baked inclusions, variegates, and fruit purées.

The business unit accounted for an expected €405m, with an EBITDA of €41m, in 2022, said Kerry, which plans to use the proceeds of the sale to bolster its Taste & Nutrition business and for general corporate purposes.

Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry Group, commented: “We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to those of our colleagues who will join IRCA from today, and we wish them the very best for this new chapter.”

IRCA, in turn, said this acquisition, its third since IRCA was acquired by private equity firm Advent International in July 2022, would further its goal of becoming a global provider of semi-finished food ingredients, with an expected €1bn in annual revenues. 

Previously, IRCA acquired Italian pistachio ingredient company Anastasi Group and fruit-based ingredients company Cesarin Spa.

Massimo Garavaglia, CEO of IRCA said: “The Sweet Ingredients Portfolio is a high-quality business with a differentiated set of technologies, and we are excited to welcome their talented team who, we believe, share our passion and drive to deliver the best for their customers and consumers.”

“This acquisition would represent a strong fit with our portfolio, with its highly complementary product and technological capabilities, and help us to become a truly global player. We look forward to helping the Sweet Ingredients Portfolio realize its full potential as part of the IRCA family.”

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