The agreement is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2007 following approval from shareholders of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICC), the UK firm that owns Quest International.
'This is an outstanding opportunity for Quest. Givaudan has an aspiring and long history in fragrance creation. We will be joining the most respected and profitable business in our industry and creating a clear market leader' said Isabelle Parize, Group VP at Quest.
Quest International, based in the Netherlands, will be sold for £1.2 billion (€1.77 billion), financed by debt and future equity insurance. Gaining Quest automatically makes Givaudan the main competitors as market leaders within the flavours and fragrance industry, rivalled only by US group IFF and Swiss supplier Firmenich.
In 2006 joint earnings for both companies came in at €3.15 billion of which 44 per cent were made up of fragrance sales: demonstrating the dynamic role they both take within the industry.
Parize stated: "The combined businesses provide a powerful innovation platform and we are delighted about the extra value we will be able to offer our clients. "
Both companies hope to capitalise on each other's specific strengths, including Quest's extensive consumer and sensory understanding and Givaudan's merger looks set to challenge the industry further and drive forward the need for innovative fragrance and flavours.
The acquisition of Quest will give Givaudan the incentive to aggressively promote their presence in high-growth, emerging markets such as China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Despite some industry observers expressing surprise at the merger due to the recent restructuring measures of Quest, implemented by ICC, Givaudan is hoping to benefit from the extensive list of clients Quest has in its portfolio and extend its presence with the fragrance industry.