Firmenich to acquire Senomyx, a taste innovator

Switzerland-based Firmenich, which has its U.S. headquarters in Plainsboro, and San Diego-based Senomyx Inc. announced Monday they have entered into a merger agreement.

“Senomyx has established itself as a leader in taste innovation and a recognized pioneer in sweet, cooling and bitter solutions,” Patrick Firmenich, chairman of the board, Firmenich, said. “Building on our long-term partnership spanning more than a decade, we look forward to welcoming Senomyx into Firmenich to lead in taste and nutrition.”

Under terms of the merger, Firmenich will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Senomyx for $1.50 per share.

The merger has been approved by both company’s boards of directors, they said. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“We are excited to be joining Firmenich,” John Poyhonen, CEO and president of Senomyx, said. “Firmenich’s commitment to innovation and delivery of world-class commercialization capabilities combined with our long standing relationship makes this deal the ideal fit for our companies. We believe this merger will allow the Senomyx discoveries to reach their full potential. I would like to personally thank all our employees for their dedication and contributions in building a leading proprietary taste science technology platform that will benefit consumers around the globe well into the future.”

When the merger is finalized, Senomyx will be integrated into Firmenich’s North America Research & Development organization and its products will be commercialized through its Taste Platform.

Senomyx’s R&D operations will remain in San Diego.

“Building on our world-class science and pioneering taste platform, this strategic acquisition confirms our commitment to being the partner of choice in taste and nutrition,” Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich, said. “Adding Senomyx’s leading taste technologies and strong natural ingredients pipeline to our taste platform, uniquely positions us to create healthy and great tasting food, drink and oral care experiences for our customers.”

Needham & Co. and Conexus Capital Advisors with Cooley LLP provided legal advice to Senomyx. Piper Jaffray with Duane Morris LLP provided legal advice to Firmenich.