Sector News

Symrise acquires Cobell, expands presence in British beverage market

May 31, 2017
Food & Drink

Symrise AG are set to strengthen their position in the British market segment for beverages.

The Company has signed an agreement to acquire Cobell Limited from the Managing Partners. Cobell, which was established in 1999, is the largest supplier of processed fruit and vegetable juices in Great Britain and a leading supplier across Europe. Cobell ideally complements the activities and will enhance Symrise’s local presence and customer proximity.

“Knowhow meets innovation – this is the guiding principle of our acquisition of Cobell. The Group is firmly anchored in the British market and operates with extremely high customer orientation. It thus represents an ideal match for Symrise. In recent years, we have seen increased demand for innovative beverage solutions. Together with Cobell we prepare the ground for accelerated growth and expand our footprint. By combining Cobell’s impressive application and manufacturing capacities with our strong portfolio of natural flavors and our joint technological knowhow we will become a driving force. In addition, we will significantly enhance our customer proximity and act as single source for beverage ingredients and formulations in Great Britain,” said Dirk Bennwitz, President Flavor Segment EAME.

Symrise has been active for more than five decades in Great Britain and is a highly valued supplier to the Food and Beverage industry. After significantly growing the sweet and savory activities in the past, Symrise now aims to further drive growth in the British beverage market category which comprises annual sales potential of more than £100 million ($128 million). Cobell’s state-of-the art manufacturing sites will play a decisive role in reducing lead times and make Symrise a partner that is even closer to its customers.

Cobell runs a modern plant in Exeter covering the full production cycle from sourcing ingredients, developing customer-specific recipes to blending and packaging products on an aseptic basis. The product range comprises juices, purees, cordials, concentrates and alcoholic drinks. Cobell generated sales of about £50 million (€ 58 million) in 2016 and employs 56 people. Symrise will continue to run Cobell’s activities under the well-established Cobell brand.

“We are delighted to have found a strong new owner for Cobell. Symrise shares the same mindset culturally and from a business perspective. Cobell will benefit from Symrise’s strong access to an impressive range of natural ingredients, as well as additional technologies, such as in taste modulation.”

“Symrise on the other hand will be able to enhance its local supply chain and benefit from Cobell’s specialist sourcing and global supply base. Together we will be able to significantly increase our offering and differentiate ourselves in the market with tailor made solutions that fully respond to local consumer needs,” said Nick Sprague, Chairman and founder of Cobell.

Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the acquisition. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place at the beginning of July 2017.

Source: Food Ingredients First

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