Irish food and ingredients giant Kerry Group has announced the acquisition of US-based Da Vinci Gourmet and Crystals International for a total consideration of US$62m.

Seattle-based Da Vinci Gourmet is a manufacturer of branded flavoured syrups, confectionery sauces and tea concentrates, serving specialty coffee chains, specialty food and grocery stores and foodservice outlets in more than forty countries

Florida-based Crystals International is a specialist manufacturer of natural fruit and vegetable flavours for beverage, confectionery, dairy, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

Hugh Friel, managing director of Kerry Group, said that the acquisitions represented two further important steps in broadening the group's technology and customer base in fast growing niches of global foodservice, ingredients and flavours markets.

"The acquisition of Da Vinci Gourmet consolidates Kerry's leadership position in the gourmet coffee segment, complementing the Stearns and Lehman business acquired in 2002.

"Combining Crystals International with Mastertaste's existing flavour technologies - in particular through synergies with the Florida based SunPure acquisition completed in February 2003 - considerably strengthens the flavour division's position in beverage flavours and bases and in other all-natural sweet and savoury flavour applications," Friel added.