In July 2014, Ardian completed the sale of the company to German flavor firm Symrise. DIANA now generates more than 50% of its sales outside Europe, and its turnover and employee numbers have increased from €254 million and 1,000 people in 2006, to €451 million and 2,000 employees in 2014.
DIANA is a world leader in natural functional solutions for the food, pet food, nutraceuticals, aquaculture and cosmetics industries, and technology leader in plant cell culture, dedicated to the production of active ingredients for food, cosmetics and health. DIANA is improving the sensorial and nutritional performance of its customers’ products thanks to its unique biosciences expertise and helping them conquer new markets.
DIANA's management was looking for the right partner to bring them the financial support for their international development, which would be pursued through internal growth and through strategic acquisition. Ardian’s active support in the development of its portfolio companies and the access to its worldwide network was seen as clear advantages to facilitate DIANA's expansion.
"The understanding of our industry and the expertise of the Ardian teams in achieving external growth has been an important element in the development of our company. We are now ideally positioned, particularly to take advantage of emerging market opportunities."
Ardian became the majority shareholder in DIANA in 2007 and worked closely with the management team, helping it to consolidate its market-leading position across several products and regions, including Asia, the United States, South America and Eastern Europe. DIANA has also benefitted from the Ardian Buyout team’s expertise and international network. The team made numerous build-up acquisitions throughout the course of the last seven years, including the purchase of four businesses in the space of six months in 2012. This culminated in the purchase of PPA in the USA and then Givaudan’s vegetables, wines and vinegar extracts range in November of that year. More recently, Diana acquired the banana flakes world leader Confoco International in October 2013.
The next steps for DIANA
DIANA was always a great asset, and the management team have done a truly fantastic job to build up the business so successfully. It has been a long and occasionally challenging journey, but Ardian's understanding of the industry and the expertise of the team was an important part of the company’s development. DIANA is now ideally positioned to take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets.
With Symrise, DIANA is set to embark on a new stage of development, within a strong and dynamic group. Symrise does a lot of work in flavor and nutrition, and the acquisition of DIANA will perfectly complement this. In a highly fragmented market, where there are numerous external growth opportunities, DIANA has identified dozens of potential targets. Likewise the pet food sector is one in which Symrise is willing to grow – thanks to DIANA’s world n°1 position in palatability enhancers they should look to follow the lead of clients in major consumption areas, particularly those in emerging countries.