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Stock Analyst Update

Archer-Daniels Midland Boosts Nutrition Footprint

While we are skeptical of the revenue synergies the firm hopes to achieve with its purchase of Neovia and Protexin, we think the cost savings synergies are largely achievable.

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 Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM) announced two acquisitions in the company's nutrition business. It plans to acquire Neovia, a global animal nutrition company based in France, for nearly $1.8 billion (EUR 1.535 billion). It also plans to acquire Protexin, a human and animal nutrition company based in the U.K., for just over $240 million (GBP 185 million). Management expects both transactions to close by the end of the year. The deals will be financed with existing cash and short-term debt.

The Neovia acquisition price reflects an enterprise value to EBITDA multiple of around 14 times before synergies, which is in line with comparable transactions based on PitchBook data. The Protexin acquisition price reflects a 16 times multiple before synergies, which is slightly above the comparable transactions multiple.

Of management’s proposed synergies totaling $50 million, $35 million would come from cost savings and the remaining $15 million from revenue synergies. While we are skeptical of the revenue synergies, we think the cost savings synergies are largely achievable. Given Archer-Daniels' existing transportation infrastructure, we think the company will be able to realize cost savings synergies through the reduction of distribution expenses as well as the the elimination of some dual back office functions that include research and development and SG&A. After accounting for $35 million of synergies, we think the company negotiated a fair price for both acquisitions. As such, we maintain our $46 per share fair value estimate and no-moat rating.

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Seth Goldstein does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.