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Firmenich Inks Deal to Buy DRT

DRT focuses on plant-based chemistry, mainly from pine trees.

PARIS — Swiss fragrance and flavors maker Firmenich has entered into an exclusive agreement to acquire Les Dérivés Résiniques et Terpéniques, or DRT, a plant-based chemistry concern, from owners Ardian, Tikehau Capital and family shareholders.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

DRT creates renewable, sustainable and naturally gleaned ingredients from terpenes and rosin derivatives, mainly from pine trees.

Based in Dax, France, it was founded in 1932 and has a product portfolio of more than 300 ingredients. The company operates nine manufacturing plants directly or with joint-venture partners.

DRT generates revenues of more than 550 million euros per year and has been family owned for much of its lifespan. It has more than 1,500 employees globally and counts four production sites in France, two in the U.S., two in India and one in China.

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“DRT developed a unique, backward-integrated business model over many decades, including access to sustainable raw materials, best-in-class extraction and distillation capabilities, and advance innovation processes,” Firmenich, DRT, Ardian and Tikahau said in a statement.

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“This proposed combination builds on our business partnership of more than 30 years and our established track record of successful co-development in a longstanding joint venture,” said Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the board of Geneva-based Firmenich. “We share the same passion for our customers, sustainability, as well as strong family values.”

“DRT would further strengthen our leading perfumery and ingredients business, enabling us to offer our customers the world’s best palette of renewable and sustainable ingredients,” said Gilbert Ghostine, chief executive officer of Firmenich. “DRT would bring new capabilities in health and nutrition, cosmetics, as well as a number of new markets, including adhesives, coatings and agriculture. This acquisition reinforces our presence in France, which is our second-largest market where we have been established for more than 120 years.”

Said Laurent Labatut, ceo of DRT: “We share a longstanding partnership with Firmenich, as it is one of our main partners. Our joint innovation capabilities would open up new opportunities to support our clients across our entire product portfolio.”

“Ardian has enabled DRT to accelerate growth, invest in new projects and enhance its sustainability approach,” said Thibault Basquin, head of Americas investment and managing director at Ardian Buyout.

Tikehau Capital has been an investor in DRT for six years.

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately owned fragrance and flavors company, which was established in 1895. In its most recent fiscal year, ended June 30, 2019, the group registered sales of 3.9 billion Swiss francs, or $4.15 billion.

Goldman Sachs International, Raphaël Financial Advisory and Bredin Prat advised Firmench. Citigroup, Rothschild & Co., Latham & Watkins and White & Case advised Ardian.