Responding to growing consumer preferences for natural and wholesome food production, Cargill has signed a binding agreement to acquire Diamond V, a leading global provider of innovative natural solutions and technologies that improve animal health, animal performance, and food safety.
According to Diamond V President and CEO Jeff Cannon, who spoke exclusively with WATTAgNet on Tuesday, the two companies began talks this year about how to expand their business. "That culminated this summer about coming together more formally. Within the last month or so, we were able to come to an agreement on a sale of 100 percent of the stock of Diamond V to Cargill," he said in a phone interview.
Cannon said the two companies have had a relationship for decades and are already partners in several markets outside of the U.S.
Growing markets for both companies
The acquisition, which follows Cargill’s recent investment in Delacon, the global leader in natural, plant-based phytogenic additives, will give Cargill market-leading participation in the $20 billion global animal feed additives market, as well as world-class technical, regulatory and R&D capabilities and go-to-market strength in approximately 70 countries worldwide.
"What we do, they don't do," Cannon said. "We have proprietary, high-quality, high-value feed additives that go into finished feed. We have unique fermentation products that don't exist anywhere else. Cargill sees that as an opportunity to capitalize." He said Diamond V will be able to bring technology to Cargill to allow it to feed animals in the ways consumers are demanding, such as antibiotic-free production.
“This acquisition strengthens Cargill’s and Diamond V’s shared vision to be a leader in creating new solutions for evolving consumer preferences for sustainable and wholesome food production,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO, in a press release. “Our combined businesses will accelerate growth, build industry-leading capabilities and natural solutions for animal health and food safety, and help fulfill Cargill’s purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.”
Two family companies coming together
Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Diamond V has a 75-year history and global reputation for developing unique, research-proven immune support technologies that work naturally with the biology of the animal to strengthen the immune system and promote a healthy digestive system to enhance animal health, animal performance, and food safety. The purchase will encompass all of Diamond V’s business, including the human health business, Embria Health Sciences, and its branded product EpiCor. Diamond V’s headquarters will remain in Cedar Rapids and the Diamond V brand will be the platform for future investments in natural solutions for safer animal food production.
"This is about two iconic, global brands joining forces to address the current and future needs of food production worldwide," Cannon told WATTAgNet. "This is two family companies coming together to combine brand strength."
Cannon said the acquisition will allow Diamond V to add to its staff and accelerate growth.
"It doesn't really change the way we operate at all," he said. "It changes our opportunity to grow in the future." Diamond V will operate as a separate company within Cargill.
Expanding scientific expertise
This investment will enable Cargill's animal nutrition business to better serve customers who are increasingly turning to unique natural technologies to unlock the potential in feed to promote healthier animals, improve performance and to help them produce safer more wholesome food. Natural immune support products in animal feed – like natural health supplements for people — are increasingly being used to improve immunity and digestive health.
“Diamond V is a tremendous company with deep scientific expertise and a highly respected global brand,” said Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s premix and nutrition business. “Adding Diamond V’s leading talent and technology as well as its applications for sustainable protein production, will enable us to deliver improved profitability and performance for our customers. Together, Cargill and Diamond V will accelerate the pace of innovation and drive strategic, long-term growth.”
Cargill has deep nutritional expertise built over decades and delivered through its animal nutrition business. Diamond V will enhance these capabilities through its innovative focus on immune function and digestive health, critical components that will help customers improve the well-being of their animals and the safety of the food supply. Through its commitment to innovation, technology and quality, Diamond V has earned a global reputation of trust and reliability in the animal nutrition industry and is recognized as a leader in food safety.
“Cargill and Diamond V will expand and create new, world-class natural health technologies that will provide unique opportunities for customers and consumers alike,” said Cannon. “Adding Cargill’s vast resources and global reach to Diamond V’s industry-leading practitioners, scientists, and technical experts, will allow the new organization to provide world-class, innovative technologies and solutions to the global animal health and nutrition industry.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in January 2018, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.