Royal DSM, a life sciences and materials sciences company based in Heerlen, Netherlands, announced it is in exclusive discussions with Cargill Inc., Wayzata, Minn., which may or may not result in its acquisition of Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business.

Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business is a global leading manufacturer of cultures and enzymes for the dairy and meat industries, with manufacturing operations in Wisconsin and France. It has a strong pipeline of new products built on three pillars of technology: culture texture toolbox, fast acidification for cheese yield improvements and culture flavor systems. The business generates net sales of about 45 million euros per year and has approximately 200 employees.

DSM’s acquisition of Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business would be the company’s eighth acquisition in the nutrition cluster since it announced its corporate strategy “DSM in motion: driving focused growth” in September 2010.

“This acquisition would be another great step in achieving our ambitious growth strategy,” says Hans-Christian Ambjerg, president of DSM Food Specialties. “Combining both businesses would allow us to serve our customers faster with one of the most versatile offerings in cultures and enzymes in the global dairy industry. We have great respect for the knowledge and expertise of the people at Cargill.”