Cargill to sell its cultures and enzymes unit for $110 million

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , a nd MIKE H UGHLETT
  • Updated: October 26, 2012 - 8:51 PM

A Dutch buyer will take over the company's cultures and enzymes business.

Cargill Inc. has agreed to sell its cultures and enzymes business to Royal DSM in an all-cash deal worth about $109.7 million.

DSM, a Dutch life and materials sciences company, and Minnetonka-based Cargill confirmed in mid-September that they were in talks about the business. The transaction is expected to close in the next few months, the companies said Friday.

The cultures and enzymes operation forms part of Cargill's global food texturizing business, with facilities in Wisconsin and France. The $58 million business manufactures cultures and enzymes for the dairy and meat industries and employs about 200 people.

Cargill's cultures and enzymes, among other things, help ripen and flavor cheese, and aid in the drying and coloring of sausage. The global market for cultures and enzymes is valued at approximately $1.3 billion, according to Reuters.

The sale fits with Cargill's strategy of refocusing its texturizing ingredients business, concentrating on product lines where it can be a "leading or relevant player in the marketplace," Cargill said in a statement.

Cargill's food and ingredients business is one of its largest, including everything from cocoa to meat to brewers malt. The Royal DSM sale marks the third deal in just over a year involving a Cargill ingredients business, all of them relatively small.

In April, the agribusiness giant agreed to sell its juice ingredients business to a German firm for an undisclosed price. In 2011, Cargill sold its flavors business to an Irish ingredients company for $230 million.

mhughlett@startribune.com • 612-673-7003 jmmoore@startribune.com • 612-673-7752

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