Snaith-based speciality chemicals firm Croda agrees to acquire Parfex in France

Speciality chemicals firm Croda announced that its fragrances and flavours subsidiary Iberchem has agreed to acquire Parfex S.A., a fragrance business based in Grasse, France, for a total enterprise value of €45m.

Steve Foots, CEO of Croda, said: "We believe that transitioning to more natural raw materials is a potential differentiator in the fragrance market."

Parfex, which was established in 1985 and employs 75 people, creates fragrances principally for premium personal care and fine perfumery markets, leveraging the natural raw materials that are available in the region.

Steve Foots, CEO of Croda, said: "We believe that transitioning to more natural raw materials is a potential differentiator in the fragrance market.

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"Parfex will play an important role in Iberchem's plans to increase its sustainable fragrance offerings and further enhances our position in the creation of higher-value fine fragrances."

Parfex has seen good growth over the last decade, generating €3.6m EBITDA in 2020, and now sells its fragrances in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The business is 82 per cent owned by its founders with the remaining free float of shares listed on the Euronext Access market.

Croda has agreed to acquire 93 per cent of Parfex's outstanding shares, comprising the founding shareholders and certain minority investors.

Croda ultimately expects to acquire 100 per cent of the total outstanding share capital, subject to a potential tender offer and subsequent de-listing.

Last month, the Snaith-based business reported sales of £1.39bn for the year ended Decmber 2020, up less than one per cent from £1.37bn the previous year. While operating profit fell by 9.3 per cent from £319.9m to £290m.

Mr Foots said: “It’s been a very resilient performance from the group. We’ve had minimal financial impact from Covid-19, which isatestimony to the hard work from everybody in the organisation around the world.

“They’ve worked brilliantly as one Croda team to keep the show on the road. We got back to growth in the second half of the year and growth accelerated in the fourth quarter."

It also announced the acquisition of the worldwide business activities of a supplier of natural and botanical ingredients to the global beauty industry for €25m.

The East Yorkshire firm expanded its portfolio of sustainable active ingredients for customers in personal care markets with the deal for Alban Muller, which is also based in France and had an annual revenue of €18m for the year to June 30, 2020.

The deal for Alban Muller is a “small acquisition for Croda in relative terms”, says Mr Foots, but an important one for its actives business.

He added: “There’s a big market trendmoving towards 100 per cent sustainable ingredients.

“This is an ideal acquisition. It’s a French acquisition and there’s lots of good growth synergies and cost synergies in the business with our other French businesses of Sederma and Crodarom.”


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James Mitchinson