The Dutch-Swiss company DSM and Swiss company Firmenich have opted for a shared future. They announced this on May 31st, 2022. If everything goes to plan, a new company with its registered office in Switzerland and a listing on the Amsterdam stock exchange Euronext will be created in 2023. The company will have two head offices, one in Maastricht and one in Kaiseraugst. Firmenich is a leading multinational in fragrances and flavors, amongst other things. DSM is a global leader in health, nutrition and life sciences, and focuses on ingredients and solutions for food, beverages, animal nutrition and personal care.
The reason for the merger is that the companies anticipate that they will be able to grow stronger together than separately. This is because they operate in the same areas – food, personal care and wellbeing – and complement each other in their activities. Together, they are an entity that no one on the global stage can ignore. At the same time, customers will gain access to the huge Research & Development (R&D) network of both companies, for the creation and development of innovative products. The merger brings together two culturally aligned and iconic companies, each with over 125 years of experience in innovation.
Global biotech research led from Delft
DSM-Firmenich will consist of four business units, supported by two research branches (see box). Delft will be the home base of the Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond business unit. This has a combined turnover of nearly EUR 3 billion and is a global partner for the food and beverage industry, with extensive capabilities in the area of taste, nutritional value and functionality. Patrick Niels, appointed President of the future Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond unit, says proudly from his office in Delft: “Our goal was, is and remains to make tasty, nutritious and healthy products with natural and sustainable ingredients. We are strong when it comes to innovative ingredients, clean label products and, for example, solutions for plant-based food with a superior taste. Our ingredients also make food and drinks healthier: we produce vitamins, probiotics and lipids, and reduce sugar and salt.”
DSM has also committed to measurable sustainability targets. “We call them our Food System Commitments”, says Niels. “Our ingredients contribute to the provision of healthy and nutritious food and drink for the world’s growing population. We do this in a sustainable manner.”
Food & Beverage achieves this through research and innovation. “In Delft, we have been conducting research in the field of biotechnology for food and drink for more than 150 years. And we will continue to do so unabated.” Global biotechnology research will therefore be led from Delft. Fragrance, ingredient and flavor research will be based in Geneva. The two research organizations control a global network of 15 R&D facilities that focus on all the major and emerging disciplines in the markets. Discovery, scaling up and commercialization are central. Together, DSM and Firmenich have a portfolio of 16.000 patents in around 2.600 patent families.
The merger not only brings 28.000 employees together, but also offers them new opportunities. Both companies have a culture in which the health, safety and well-being of people is paramount, with sustainability at the core, and this will continue. In addition, the merger offers new opportunities in terms of career development. In the coming months, DSM and Firmenich will be working through all the formalities for the merger. If everything goes to plan, the merger will become a reality before the summer of 2023.
The four business units of DSM-Firmenich