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IFF CEO on the impacts of Brexit and China tariffs on business

June 18, 2019
Food & Drink

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International Flavors & Fragrances CEO Andreas Fibig told CNBC Monday that although his company has a lot of international business, they have been “lucky enough” to avoid business blows related to Brexit and China tariffs.

“So we have planned for Brexit. I think we have plan A, B and C, and you need all these plans — I can tell you,” he said in a one-on-one interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “And China is very benign to us. It’s not material on our side right now.”

IFF, which creates proprietary scents and tastes for many consumer packaged goods, in October closed on its acquisition of Frutarom for $7.1 billion. Frutarom also makes flavors and ingredients for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and fragrance clients, but Wall Street frowned upon the deal, Cramer said.

Shares of IFF fell from the roughly $140 per share to the $120 range and had a tough time recovering, but the stock has rallied more than 9% in June as of Monday’s $147.56 close, he noted.

Fibig explained that it was important for management to illustrate to shareholders what the acquisition means for the company.

“I think now many more people understand what the quality of the asset is. What we did during the investor day, actually — we showed them all what can we do in terms of the expanded customer base,” he said.

Frutarom brought more than 30,000 clients across 150 countries to IFF, including 92 research and development labs and a near-total of 200 offices and production facilities across the globe. About 75% of Frutarom’s portfolio deals in naturals, and the company has many adjacent businesses, Fibig said.

“We do, now, 20% of our sales with adjacent businesses, and we demonstrated our R&D pipeline, which is unmatched what we ever have seen in IFF history,” he said.

By Tyler Clifford

Source: CNBC

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