Firmenich's perfume factory Geneva

PARIS  Firmenich is pushing further into the rising naturals territory by taking a minority stake in Robertet.

The largest privately owned fragrance and flavors supplier said Thursday that it has inked an agreement with First Eagle Investment Management to acquire the stake held by its advisory clients in Robertet, which represents about 17 percent of the share capital, and was open to taking a controlling interest in the firm.

The deal represents a price of 683.30 euros per share.

French fragrance- and flavors-maker Robertet is a specialist in natural ingredients, key to nourishing the swiftly rising trend of natural fragrance and beauty products around the world.

Firmenich has the greatest respect for Robertet, with its family values, long-term vision of the industry and leading compatibilities in natural ingredients,” Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the board of Firmenich, said in a statement. “As a long-term oriented shareholder, this investment reflects Firmenich’s commitment to best support Robertet’s continued growth.”

“With its strong naturals portfolio in perfumery, flavors and ingredients, Robertet is well positioned to benefit from consumers’ continued demand for authentic natural products,” said Gilbert Ghostine, chief executive officer of Firmenich. “This investment is fully in line with our vision for sustainable and natural products.”

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Firmenich said it is prepared to be a “passive long-term shareholder of Robertet alongside the Maubert family.

“Firmenich is also open to having friendly discussions for a larger participation or establishing a broader collaboration to support the long-term success of the company,” Firmenich said. “Should it be invited to do so, Firmenich may also consider taking a controlling interest in Robertet.”

The Meyrin, Switzerland-based Firmenich registered sales of 3.7 billion Swiss francs, or $3.72 billion, in its fiscal year ended June 2018.

Merger-and-acquisition activity among fragrance and flavors suppliers is rife these days. In late July, Givaudan announced it had bought German fragrance-maker Drom. The deal was made for Givaudan to expand its reach in the global fragrance market.

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