Last updated
Symrise AG
Type Aktiengesellschaft
MDAX Component
Industry Chemicals
Headquarters Holzminden, Germany
Key people
Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram (CEO and chairman of the executive board), Dr. Thomas Rabe (chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Flavors and fragrances
Revenue€3.408 billions (2019) [1]
€476 millions (2019) [1]
€304 millions (2019) [1]
Total assets €4.920 billion (end 2018) [1]
Total equity €1.672 million (end 2010) [1]
Number of employees
10,243 (FTE, mid 2020) [1]
Symrise headquarters in Holzminden, Germany Symrise 2017.jpg
Symrise headquarters in Holzminden, Germany

Symrise AG is a major producer of flavours and fragrances with sales of €3.154 billion in 2018. Major competitors include Firmenich, Givaudan, International Flavors and Fragrances, Frutarom and Takasago International. Symrise is a member of the European Flavour Association. [2]



Symrise was founded in 2003 by the merger of Haarmann & Reimer (H&R) and Dragoco, both based in Holzminden (Germany). In 2002 private equity firm EQT Northern Private Equity and Bayer reached an agreement on the acquisition of Haarmann & Reimer while acquiring the shares of minority holders of DRAGOCO. Horst-Otto Gerberding, majority holder and Chairman of the Executive Board at DRAGOCO, placed all of his shares into the new corporation and the merger was completed May 23, 2003.

Dragoco was founded in 1919 by Carl-Wilhelm Gerberding and his cousin August Bellmer. Haarman & Reimer was founded in 1874 by Holzminden chemists Ferdinand Tiemann and Wilhelm Haarmann after they succeeded in first synthesizing vanillin from coniferin. Holzminden was the site where vanillin was first produced industrially. In 1953, H&R was acquired by Bayer.

In April 2005 Symrise acquired Flavours Direct, a UK-based manufacturer of compounded flavours and seasonings.

In January 2006 Symrise acquired Hamburg based Kaden Biochemicals GmbH, a producer of specialty botanical extracts.

In November 2006, Symrise announced plans to sell shares worth €650 million in an IPO. [3] The firm also announced that its main shareholders, including EQT, would also sell shares worth an unspecified amount. The IPO would leave well above 50% of Symrise shares in free-float. Deutsche Bank and UBS conducted the listing on December 11, 2006. Symrise was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the trading symbol SY1. With 81,030,358 shares issued at an issue price of €17.25 for a total volume of €1.4 billion, it was the largest German public offering of 2006. [4]

On 19 March 2007, Symrise was added to the MDAX stock index. [5]

In March 2013, Symrise acquired US owned fragrance manufacturer Belmay Fragrances for an undisclosed sum.

On 12 April 2014, Symrise had announced the acquisition of Diana Group one of the leading manufacturers of natural flavours and the global number 1 for pet food solutions. The transaction has been closed on July 29, 2014 and valued at around EUR 1.3 billion and financed through a combination of equity and debt.

Key figures

One of the flavor production building Symrise2006.jpg
One of the flavor production building

World market share of the relevant fragrance and flavor market (2015)

Source: [6]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Financial Report 2016" (PDF). Symrise. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. "About EFFA". EFFA. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  3. IPO news from Wall Street journal (in German)
  4. Symrise IPO press release
  5. MDAX listing announcement
  6. Flavor & Fragrance Industry Leaders