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ADM to buy Swiss flavoring maker for about $3B

DECATUR, Ill. - Agribusiness giant ADM (ADM) will pay about $3 billion to buy the privately held Swiss company Wild Flavors, which supplies natural ingredients to the food and beverage industry.

The all-cash deal will total about $3.13 billion counting debt, or 2.3 billion euros.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. processes corn, soybeans and other crops to make everything from animal feed to ethanol. Its food and wellness group also provides products for the beverage, meat, snack and bakery markets. The Decatur company said Monday that the acquisition will allow it to better serve the evolving needs of its customers.

Wild Flavors sells full flavor and ingredient products, as well as fruit juice concentrates and ingredients like natural flavors and extracts. It has production sites in Europe, the United States, Asia and South America. Its estimated revenue for this year is about $1.36 billion, or 1 billion euros.

Wild is the last name of company chairman and owner Dr. Hans-Peter Wild, whose father founded the business. ADM will pay the purchase price to the owner and funds tied to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Shares of ADM closed at $45.77 last week, a new high point for the year and they are within striking distance of a new record, set just as the recession began, of $48.95.