Pine tree sap is an ancient source of adhesive resins. But it’s Pinova Holdings’ ability to upgrade pine-based raw materials into natural food and fragrance ingredients that is spurring a $417 million acquisition by the German flavor and fragrances firm Symrise.
Symrise has struck a deal to buy Pinova Holdings from its private equity parent TorQuest Partners, which created the firm in 2010 by acquiring a pine stump chemicals business from Ashland and a pine-based flavor and fragrance business from LyondellBasell Industries. The two deals cost TorQuest $225 million. In 2014, Pinova had sales of $287 million and operating profits of $37.4 million.
TorQuest spruced up Pinova by aiming at high-margin fragrance and food ingredient markets. Its fragrance products are derived from wood, orange oil, and by-products from the pulp and paper industry. Pinova has expanded a second line of ingredients that create a cooling effect in food and personal care products. Its third business is an outgrowth of the pine chemicals industry of yore: niche resins for adhesives, coatings, and high-performance concrete.
The addition of Pinova will boost Symrise’s aroma molecules business, according to Symrise CEO Heinz-Jürgen Bertram. “In view of the increasing importance of natural and renewable raw materials for the fragrance industry, the product range ideally complements our current portfolio,” he says. Pinova will help Symrise grow in oral care and introduce it to new industrial markets, Bertram adds.
Symrise will gain Pinova’s workforce of 400 employees and manufacturing sites in Brunswick and Colonel’s Island, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla.