• April 24, 2024

Universal Buys Silva International

 Universal Buys Silva International
Photo: Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

Universal Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Silva International, a privately held, natural, specialty dehydrated vegetable, fruit and herb processing company, for $170 million in cash. Following the close of the transaction, Silva will operate as part of Universal’s plant-based ingredients platform, which includes FruitSmart and Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients.

Founded in 1979, Silva procures over 60 types of dehydrated vegetables, fruits and herbs from more than 20 countries around the world. In addition to sourcing, the company specializes in processing natural raw materials into custom designed dehydrated vegetable- and fruit-based ingredients for a variety of end products. Headquartered in Momence, Illinois, Silva employs more than 200 people and has a 380,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

George Freeman

“We’re excited to have reached this agreement with Silva as we continue to diversify our offerings and generate new opportunities for value creation,” said George C. Freeman III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Universal Corp. “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 percent to 20 percent of our EBITDA by fiscal year 2022, ahead of our previously stated target outlined as part of our capital allocation strategy.”

Universal Corp. expects the transaction to close in October of this year, subject to customary closing conditions. The company anticipates its acquisition will be accretive to earnings in the first fiscal year following closing and expects to fund the transaction with cash on hand and borrowings under its committed revolving credit facility.