CHICAGO — Archer Daniels Midland Co., which has 4,000 workers in Decatur, is in talks to buy the French animal feed maker Neovia in a transaction valued at $1.8 billion. The deal, pending regulatory approval, is the latest step in the company's effort to diversify its portfolio.
Neovia, based in Saint-Nolff, Britanny, France, has 72 plants and about 8,200 workers in 25 nations. The company produces specialty mixes and additives for feed consumed by livestock and other animals.
“This is an important addition, not only for our animal nutrition business, but for our entire integrated nutrition platform,” said Vince Macciocchi, ADM’s senior vice president and president, nutrition, in a statement.
ADM's North American headquarters are in Decatur, as well as its James R. Randall Research Facility and its intermodal rail hub. The company is one of the biggest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers in the world.
Last week, ADM announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Probiotics International, a U.K. maker of probiotic supplements for human, pet and production animal use. That deal was estimated at $244 million.
The Neovia transaction would make ADM one of the largest animal-nutrition companies on earth. It is the largest acquisition since the company spent $3 billion on natural food ingredients company Wild Flavors four years ago.
The Wall Street Journal in early 2018 reported ADM sought to take over rival Bunge Limited, a White Plains, New York, agribusiness and food production company. The talks eventually stalled out.