Upon completion of the deal, Silva International will join Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform, including FruitSmart and Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients

Universal Silva

Universal to acquire dry ingredients-maker Silva. (Credit: Pixabay/Arkkrapol Anantachote.)

Universal Corporation, a US-based agri-products supplier, has agreed to acquire Silva International, a natural, speciality dehydrated vegetable, fruit and herb processing firm, for $170m in cash.

Established in 1979, Silva is headquartered in Momence, Illinois. With a workforce of over 200 people and 380,000ft² facility, the firm is said to produce more than 60 types of dehydrated vegetables, fruits and herbs from over 20 countries around the world.

Besides sourcing, Silva also specialises in processing natural raw materials into custom-designed dehydrated vegetable- and fruit-based ingredients to be used in a multitude of end products.

Upon closing of the deal, the ingredient processing firm will operate as part of Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform which includes FruitSmart and Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (CIFI).

Silva International CEO comments on the acquisition

Silva International CEO Heinz-Peter Schmidt said: “For more than 40 years, Silva has consistently produced flavourful, high-quality, natural speciality 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.”

Silva International also claims to reinvest continually in its business. Recently, the ingredient processing firm has expanded and upgraded its manufacturing facility, strengthening its position to cater to the increasing demand for natural and clean-label products across the markets it serves.

Universal Corporation chairman, president and CEO George Freeman III 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 the fiscal year 2022, ahead of our previously stated target outlined as part of our capital allocation strategy.”