Published On: Tue, Sep 8th, 2020

Universal Corporation to acquire Silva International for $170m

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Universal Corporation, a Virginia-based agri-products company, has agreed to acquire Silva International, a natural, specialty dehydrated vegetable, fruit and herb processing company, for $170 million in an all-cash deal.

Following the completion of the transaction, Silva International will operate as part of Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform, which includes FruitSmart and Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (CIFI).

Established in 1979, Silva International sources more than 60 varieties of dehydrated vegetables, fruits, and herbs from 20 plus countries. Apart from procuring, the firm specializes in processing natural raw materials into custom-designed dehydrated vegetable- and fruit-based ingredients for a range of end products.

Based in Momence, Illinois, Silva International employs more than 200 people and has a 380,000 square foot manufacturing plant.

Universal Corporation to acquire Silva International for $170m

Universal Corporation to acquire Silva International for $170m. Image courtesy of Silva International.

George C. Freeman III – Chairman, President and CEO of Universal Corporation said: “We’re excited to have reached this agreement with Silva as we continue to diversify our offerings and generate new opportunities for value creation. This acquisition builds on our investment in FruitSmart and expands our plant-based ingredients platform.

“With this acquisition, we expect these businesses to represent 10% to 20% of our EBITDA by fiscal year 2022, ahead of our previously stated target outlined as part of our capital allocation strategy.”

Universal Corporation anticipates the deal to wrap up next month, subject to meeting of customary closing conditions. Upon the close of the deal, Kent DeVries – President of Silva International will continue to operate the business and report to Patrick O’Keefe – Senior Vice President of Universal Global Ventures.

Heinz-Peter Schmidt – majority owner and CEO of Silva International said: “For more than 40 years, Silva has consistently produced flavorful, high-quality, natural specialty ingredients to meet our customers’ specifications. By joining Universal, we will be able to take advantage of opportunities for collaboration and growth while remaining true to our culture and our mission.”

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