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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
 ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
OR
 TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to
            
Commission File Number 1-4858
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New York13-1432060
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
521 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019-2960
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (212765-5500
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per shareIFFNew York Stock Exchange
6.00% Tangible Equity UnitsIFFTNew York Stock Exchange
0.500% Senior Notes due 2021IFF 21New York Stock Exchange
1.750% Senior Notes due 2024IFF 24New York Stock Exchange
1.800% Senior Notes due 2026IFF 26New York Stock Exchange
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes      No  o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  o    No  ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☑    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☑    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filero
Non-accelerated fileroSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes      No  ☑
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $13,567,537,235 as of June 30, 2020.
As of February 15, 2021, there were 248,726,256 shares of the registrant’s common stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per share, outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “IFF 2021 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.



INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
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PART I
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ITEM 1A.
ITEM 1B.
ITEM 2.
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PART II
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ITEM 7A.
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ITEM 9.
ITEM 9A.
ITEM 9B.
PART III
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PART IV
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PART I
In this report, we use the terms “IFF,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” to refer to International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and its subsidiaries.
ITEM 1.BUSINESS.
On February 1, 2021, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the "Merger Agreement") with DuPont de Nemours, Inc. ("DuPont"), a wholly owned subsidiary of IFF merged with and into Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc. (“N&B”), a subsidiary of DuPont formed to hold the Nutrition and Biosciences business (the “N&B Business”, and such transaction, the "N&B Transaction"). The shares issued in the Merger represented approximately 55.4% of the common stock of IFF on a fully diluted basis, after giving effect to the Merger, as of February 1, 2021.
As a result of the N&B Transaction, and following our 2018 acquisition of Frutarom Industries Ltd., we have expanded our global leadership positions, which now include high-value ingredients and solutions in the Food & Beverage, Home & Personal Care and Health & Wellness markets, and across key Taste, Texture, Scent, Nutrition, Enzymes, Cultures, Soy Proteins, Pharmaceutical Excipients, Biocides and Probiotics categories.
As the information provided throughout this report is historical, it primarily reflects information about the Company as of December 31, 2020, without giving effect to the N&B Transaction or the N&B Business.
Sales in 2020 were approximately $5.1 billion, which management believes, made us the second largest company in the taste, scent, nutrition and specialty ingredient industry during the period. During the past few years, we have diversified our customer base and leveraged our technical expertise to significantly expand our global small and mid-sized customer base. Based on 2020 sales, approximately 35% were global consumer products companies and approximately 65% were small and mid-sized companies. During 2020, our 25 largest customers accounted for 39% of our sales. In 2020, no customer accounted for more than 10% of sales.
Our business is geographically diverse, with sales in the U.S. representing approximately 20% of sales in 2020. No other country represented more than 6% of sales.
In 2020, we operated our business across two segments: Taste and Scent. As a result of the N&B Transaction, our business is now organized in four business segments: Nourish (a combination of IFF’s Taste business with N&B’s Food & Beverage business), Scent, Health & Biosciences and Pharma Solutions.
Our Product Offerings
As of December 31, 2020, our business consisted of our Taste and Scent segments.
Taste
As a leading creator of flavor offerings, we help our customers deliver on the promise of delicious and healthy foods and drinks that appeal to consumers. While we are a global leader, our Taste business operates regionally in nature, with different formulas that reflect local taste preferences. Consequently, we manage our Taste business geographically, creating products in our regional creative centers which allows us to satisfy local taste preferences, while also helping to ensure regulatory compliance and production standards. We develop thousands of different flavors and taste offerings for our customers, most of which are tailor-made, and we continually develop new formulas to meet changing consumer preferences and customer needs.
Our Taste business comprises a diversified portfolio across flavor compounds, savory solutions, inclusions, nutrition and specialty ingredients and flavor ingredients.
Flavor Compounds. Our flavor compounds provide unique flavors that are ultimately used by our customers in savory products (soups, sauces, meat, fish, poultry, snacks, etc.), beverages (juice drinks, carbonated or flavored beverages, spirits, etc.), sweets (bakery products, candy, cereal, chewing gum, etc.) and dairy products (yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc.).
Savory Solutions. Savory solutions include marinades or powder blends of flavors, natural colors, seasonings, functional ingredients and natural anti-oxidants that are primarily designed for the meat and fish industry.
Inclusions. Inclusions provide taste and texture by, among other things, combining flavorings with fruit, vegetables and other natural ingredients for a wide range of food products, such as health snacks, baked goods, cereals, pastries, ice cream and other dairy products.
Nutrition and Specialty Ingredients. Our nutrition and specialty ingredients primarily consist of natural health ingredients, natural food protection, natural colors and flavor ingredients. Natural health ingredients include natural ingredients derived from plants and herbs, which provide, or are perceived as providing, health benefits. These ingredients are used in dietary supplements, functional food, infant and elderly nutrition, cosmetics, personal care and other over-the-counter products. Natural
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food protection ingredients consist of natural antioxidants and anti-microbials used for natural food preservation and shelf life extension to beverages, cosmetic and healthcare products, and pet food and feed additives. These ingredients reduce the oxidative deterioration and/or microbiology load that leads to rancidity or loss of flavor, color, and nutritional value. Natural colors comprise a wide array of natural colors and fruit and vegetable concentrates for food, beverage and cosmetics.
Flavor Ingredients. The flavor ingredients market includes natural flavor extracts, specialty botanical extracts, distillates, essential oils, citrus products, aroma chemicals and natural gums and resins. Such ingredients are used for food, beverage and flavors, and are often sold directly to food and beverage manufacturers who use them in producing consumer products.
Scent
Our global Scent business creates fragrance compounds and fragrance ingredients that are integral elements in the world’s finest perfumes and best-known household and personal care products. We believe our unique portfolio of natural and synthetic ingredients, global footprint, innovative technologies and know-how, deep consumer insight and customer intimacy make us a market leader in scent products.
Our Scent business is a vertically integrated operation, originating in our research facilities with the development of natural, synthetic and proprietary molecules and innovative delivery systems, progressing to our creative centers, application laboratories and consumer insight teams where our perfumers partner with our customers to create unique fragrance compounds for use in a variety of end-use products. We produce these products in our manufacturing facilities in a consistent, high-quality and cost-effective manner. We also produce cosmetic active and functional ingredients for use in cosmetics. By providing our fragrance development teams with an extensive portfolio of innovative, high-quality and effective ingredients to support their creativity, we are able to provide our customers with a unique identity for their brands. These ingredients or fragrance compounds can then be combined with our innovative delivery systems which are key differentiators in the growth of our consumer fragrance portfolio.
Fragrance Compounds. Fragrance compounds are unique and proprietary combinations of multiple ingredients that are ultimately used by our customers in their consumer goods. Our creative and commercial teams within fragrance compounds are organized into two broad categories, fine fragrances and consumer fragrances.
Our fine fragrances focus on perfumes and colognes. Our scientists and perfumers collaborate to develop new molecules, new natural extractions and innovative processes to create unique and inspiring fragrances. We have created some of the industry-leading fine fragrance classics as well as cutting-edge niche fragrances, as evidenced by the number of top sellers and award winners.
Our consumer fragrances include three end-use categories of products:
Fabric Care, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners and specialty laundry products;
Home Care, including household cleaners, dishwashing detergents and air fresheners; and
Body Care, including personal wash, hair care and toiletries products.
Ingredients. Fragrance ingredients consist of natural and synthetic, and active and functional ingredients that are used internally and sold to third parties, including competitors, for use in the preparation of compounds. While the principal role of our fragrance ingredients facilities is to support our fragrance compounds business, we utilize our excess manufacturing capacity to manufacture and sell certain fragrance ingredients to third parties. We believe that this business allows us to leverage our fixed costs while maintaining the security of our supply for our perfumers and ultimately our customers. Fragrance ingredients available for sale to third parties include innovative ingredients that leverage our manufacturing experience as well as a limited amount of cost-competitive, commodity ingredients. Fragrance ingredients also include our cosmetic active and functional ingredients, which provide biologists and cosmetic chemists with innovative solutions to address cosmetic challenges such as skin aging and hair protection. With our separate fragrance and active and functional ingredients, plus additional botanicals and delivery systems, we believe we are a leader in the industry with the breadth of our product portfolio.
Organization in 2021, following the N&B Transaction
As a result of the N&B Transaction, we will now be organized in four segments: Nourish, Scent, Health & Biosciences, and Pharma Solutions.
The Nourish segment consists of most of our legacy Taste segment, N&B’s Food & Beverage division and the food protection business of N&B’s Health & Biosciences division. This segment comprises an innovative and broad portfolio of natural-based ingredients to enhance nutritional value, texture and functionality in a wide range of beverage, dairy, bakery, confectionery and culinary applications.
The Scent segment consists of our legacy Scent segment as well as, effective January 2, 2021, our Flavor Ingredients business.
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The Health & Biosciences segment contains N&B’s Health & Biosciences division, with the exception of food protection, which is part of our Nourish division, as well as parts of our Nutrition and Specialty Ingredients offerings. This segment is the biotechnology driven portfolio of the N&B Business, where enzymes, food cultures, probiotics and specialty ingredients for food and non-food applications are developed and produced. The Health & Biosciences business includes a biotechnology-driven probiotics portfolio, that produces cultures for use in fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese and fermented beverages. It also uses industrial fermentation to produce enzymes and microorganisms that provide product and process performance benefits to household detergents, animal feed, ethanol production and brewing.
The Pharma Solutions segment consists of N&B’s Pharma Solutions division, which is one of the world’s largest producers of cellulosics and alginates-based pharma excipients, and is used to improve the functionality and delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including controlled or modified drug release formulations, and enable the development of more effective pharma solutions.
Consumer Insights, Research and Product Development Process
The markets in which we compete require constant innovation to remain competitive. Consumer preferences tend to drive change in our markets, and as science evolves and sustainability continues to be a key factor to customers and consumers, we must continue to strengthen our research and development platforms and adapt our capabilities to provide differentiated products.
Consumer Insights
We believe that the first step to creating an innovative and unique product experience begins with gaining insight into the consumer and emerging trends. By developing a deep understanding of what consumers value and prefer through our consumer insight programs, we are better able to focus our research and development and creative efforts.
Our consumer science, insight and marketing teams interpret trends, monitor product launches, analyze quantitative market data and conduct numerous consumer interviews annually. Our sensory experts direct research programs exploring topics such as fragrance performance, the psychophysics of sensory perception (including chemesthetic properties such as warming, cooling and tingling), the genetic basis for flavor and fragrance preference and the effects of aromas on mood, performance, health and well-being.
Based on this information, we develop innovative and proprietary programs to evaluate potential products that enable us to understand the emotional connections between a prospective product and the consumer. We believe this ability to pinpoint the likelihood of a product’s success translates into stronger brand equity, resulting in increased returns and greater market share gains for our customers as well as for IFF.
Research and Development
We consider our research and development infrastructure to be one of our key competencies and critical to our ability to provide differentiated products to our customers. We focus and invest substantial resources in the research and development of new and innovative molecules, compounds, formulations and technologies and the application of these to our customers’ products. Using the knowledge gained from our consumer insights programs and business unit needs, we strategically focus our resources around key research and development platforms that address or anticipate consumer needs or preferences. By aligning our capabilities and resources to these platforms, we ensure the proper support and focus for each program so that they can be further developed and eventually accepted for commercial application.
As of December 31, 2020, we have been granted 430 patents in the United States, since 2000, and have 564 pending patent applications. We have developed many unique molecules and delivery systems for our customers that are used as the foundations of successful flavors and fragrances around the world.
We have historically conducted our principal basic research and development activities in Union Beach, New Jersey, where we employ scientists and application engineers who collaborate with our other research and development centers around the world, to support the:
discovery of new materials;
development of new technologies, such as delivery systems;
creation of new compounds; and
enhancement of existing ingredients and compounds.
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Following the N&B Transaction, we expect that our principal basic research and development activities will continue in Union Beach, New Jersey, as well as in Wilmington, Delaware, Palo Alto, California, Barbrand, Denmark, and Leiden, The Netherlands. The N&B Business has strong product and application development pipelines built upon a global network that includes research and development, as well as regulatory and product stewardship capabilities.
As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 2,600 people globally in research and development activities, including in key basic research and development centers in Union Beach, New Jersey, Tilburg, The Netherlands, Neuilly and Grasse, France, and Nanjing, China.
Our ingredients research program discovers molecules found in natural substances and creates new molecules that are subsequently tested for their sensorial value. To broaden our offerings of natural, innovative and unique products, we have established a number of collaborations with research institutions and other companies throughout the world. We may also consider acquiring companies that could provide access to new technologies.
The development of new and customized flavor and fragrance compounds is a complex process calling upon the combined knowledge of our scientists, flavorists and perfumers. Scientists from various disciplines work in project teams with flavorists and perfumers to develop flavor and fragrance compounds with consumer preferred performance characteristics. The development of new flavor and fragrance compounds requires (i) an in-depth knowledge of the flavor and fragrance characteristics of the various ingredients we use, (ii) an understanding of how the many ingredients in a consumer product interact and (iii) the creation of controlled release and delivery systems to enhance flavor and fragrance performance. To facilitate this process, we have a scientific advisory board that provides external perspectives and independent feedback on our research and development and sustainability initiatives.
Creative Application
Through our global network of creative centers and application laboratories, we create or adapt the basic flavors or fragrances compounds that we have developed in the research and development process to commercialize for use in our customers’ consumer products. Our global creative teams consist of perfumers, fragrance evaluators and flavorists, as well as marketing, consumer science, consumer insights and technical application experts, from a wide range of cultures and nationalities. In close partnership with our customers’ product development groups, our creative teams create the sensory experiences that our customers are seeking in order to satisfy consumer demands in each of their respective markets.
New flavor and fragrance development is driven by a variety of sources including requests from our customers, who are in need of specific flavors and fragrances for use in a new or modified consumer product, or as a result of internal initiatives stemming from our consumer insights program. Our product development team works in partnership with our scientists and researchers to optimize the consumer appeal and relevance of our flavors and fragrances. We use a collaborative process between our researchers, our product development team and our customers to perfect the flavors and fragrances so they are ready to be included in the final consumer product.
In addition to creating new flavors and fragrances, our researchers and product development teams advise customers on ways to improve their existing products by moderating or substituting current ingredients with more readily accessible or less expensive materials enhancing their yield. This often results in creating a better value proposition for our customers.
Our flavors and fragrances compound formulas are treated as trade secrets and remain our proprietary assets. Our business is not materially dependent upon any individual patent, trademark or license.
Supply Chain
We strive to provide our customers with consistent and quality products on a timely and cost-effective basis by managing all aspects of the supply chain, from raw material sourcing through manufacturing, quality assurance, regulatory compliance and distribution.
Procurement
In connection with the manufacture of compounds, we use natural ingredients and, primarily in our fragrance compounds, synthetic ingredients. As of December 31, 2020, we purchased approximately 124,500 different raw materials sourced from an extensive network of domestic and international suppliers and distributors.
The N&B Transaction will significantly increase the number of natural products that we will source, and the percentage of our ingredients that are natural or crop-related. Natural ingredients are derived from flowers, fruits and other botanical products, as well as from animal and marine products, and commodity crops like wheat, corn and soy. They contain varying numbers of organic chemicals that are responsible for the fragrance, flavor, antioxidant properties and nutrition of the natural products. Natural products are purchased directly from farms or in processed and semi-processed forms. Some natural products are used in compounds in the state in which they are obtained and others are used after further processing. Natural products, together with various chemicals, are also used as raw materials for the manufacture of synthetic ingredients by chemical processes.
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In order to ensure our supply of raw materials, achieve favorable pricing and provide timely transparency regarding inflationary trends to our customers, we continue to focus on:
purchasing under contract with fixed or formula-based pricing for set time periods;
entering into supplier relationships to gain access to supplies we would not otherwise have;
implementing indexed pricing;
reducing the complexity of our formulations;
evaluating the profitability of whether to buy or make an ingredient; and
sourcing from local countries with our own procurement professionals.
Manufacturing and Distribution
As of December 31, 2020, we had 242 manufacturing facilities, creative centers and application laboratories located in 47 different countries. Our major manufacturing facilities are located in the United States, The Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Slovenia, China, India, and Singapore. Based on the regional nature of the Taste business and the logistical concerns regarding the fragile nature of transporting raw materials, we have typically established smaller manufacturing facilities in our local markets that are focused on local needs. Products within the Scent business are typically composed of compounds that are more stable and more transportable. Consequently, we have fewer manufacturing facilities within our Scent business, which produce compounds and ingredients for global distribution.
During the last few years, we undertook an initiative to optimize our global operations footprint to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver value to our global customers. During 2020, we announced the closure of eleven sites, of which five sites were in Europe, Africa and Middle East, four sites were in North America and two sites were in Greater Asia. As a continuation of this initiative, we expect to close approximately nine additional manufacturing sites by the end of 2021.
Our supply chain initiatives are focused on increasing capacity and investing in key technologies. Within our more mature markets, we tend to focus on consolidation and cost optimization as well as the implementation of new technologies. In addition to our own manufacturing facilities, we develop relationships with third parties, including contract manufacturing organizations, that expand our access to the technologies, capabilities and capacity that we need to better serve our customers.
Sustainability
Over the past several years, we have redefined the way we envision sustainability. Moving from the traditional “take-make-dispose” model, we have embraced the circular economy model - one that is restorative and regenerative by design, which we believe is key in safeguarding the well-being of consumers, the health of our planet and the integrity of our business.
Customers and consumers of our products want to know if the products they are purchasing are responsibly sourced and produced in an environmentally conscious manner. Our sustainability vision and strategy are designed to address these global trends, and we are committed to making real progress happen at every opportunity. Following the N&B Transaction and the Frutarom acquisition, we have been working on evaluating our expanded environmental footprint and integrating and updating the N&B Business and Frutarom's sustainability practices to align them with legacy IFF sustainability practices.
In line with our purpose of applying science and creativity for a better world, our sustainability goals include:
Reducing Our Environmental Footprint - we seek to leverage synergies to reduce our operational impact in ways that will mitigate climate change, conserve water and reduce waste.
Strengthening Responsible Sourcing - we seek to ensure ethical practices in our supply chain, reduce impact to the environment and support workers and grower communities.
Driving Sustainable Innovation - we seek to embed regenerative approaches and circular design principles into our products, processes and R&D pipeline.
Embracing People and Communities - we seek to nurture an inclusive culture where we celebrate diversity and give back to the communities where we source and operate.
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In 2020, we were named for the first time to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, a family of best-in-class benchmarks for investors who recognize that sustainable business practices are critical to generating long-term shareholder value. Named to both the 2020 World Index and the North America Index, this distinction validates IFF’s leadership position in sustainability performance and underscores our commitment to executing on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities. We were also awarded the 2020 EcoVadis platinum sustainability rating, a highly selective designation by EcoVadis, a leading platform for monitoring sustainability in global supply chains. This distinction places IFF in the top 1% of companies assessed in the areas of Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. In addition, among other distinctions, in 2019 we were named one of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the third consecutive year and listed in the FTSE4Good Index series as well as in the Euronext Vigeo World 120 Index for ESG performance.
Our commitment to good governance starts with our Board and Executive Committee and is supported by a strong governance framework. This framework is implemented through our organization with frequent communications and trainings on best practices in governance, risk management, business conduct, compliance and ethics. Moreover, we adhere to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, honesty and respect in our dealings with each other and our business partners. To maintain those relationships and our strong reputation, we have a robust program to ensure compliance with our Codes.
For more detailed information about our sustainability programs and performance, please refer to our annual sustainability report.
Governmental Regulation
We develop, produce and market our products in a number of jurisdictions around the world and are subject to federal, regional and local legislation and regulations in various countries. Our products, which among other industries, are intended for use in food, beverage, pharmaceutical industries, home and personal care are subject to strict quality and regulatory standards and environmental laws and regulations. We in turn are required to meet strict standards which, in recent years, have become increasingly stringent and affect both existing as well as new products. While the cost of compliance with such laws and regulations leads to higher overall capital expenditure, which can be significant in certain periods, we do not know of any material capital expenditures necessary to comply with such laws and regulations. We continue to monitor existing and pending laws and regulations and while the impact of regulatory changes cannot be predicted with certainty, compliance has not had, and is not expected to have a material adverse effect on capital expenditure, earnings or competitive position.
Our products and operations are subject to regulation by governmental agencies in each of the markets in which we operate. These agencies include (1) the Food and Drug Administration and equivalent international agencies that regulate flavors, pharmaceutical excipients and other ingredients in consumer products, (2) the Environmental Protection Agency and equivalent international agencies that regulate our manufacturing facilities, as well as fragrance products (including encapsulation systems) and microbial products, (3) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and equivalent international agencies that regulate the working conditions in our manufacturing, research laboratories and creative centers, (4) local and international agencies that regulate trade and customs, (5) the Drug Enforcement Administration and other local or international agencies that regulate controlled chemicals that we use in our operations, (6) the Chemical Registration/Notification authorities that regulate chemicals that we use in, or transport to, the various countries in which we manufacture and/or market our products, and (7) the U.S. Department of Agriculture and equivalent international authorities with respect to, among other things, labeling of consumer products. We have seen an increase in registration and reporting requirements concerning the use of certain chemicals in a number of countries, such as Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”) regulations in the European Union, as well as similar regulations in other countries. The acquisitions of Frutarom and N&B will broaden the landscape of regulatory compliance requirements applicable to IFF.
In addition, we are subject to various rules relating to health, work safety and the environment at the local and international levels in the various countries in which we operate. Our manufacturing facilities throughout the world are subject to environmental standards relating to air emissions, sewage discharges, the use of hazardous materials, waste disposal practices and clean-up of existing environmental contamination. In recent years, there has been an increase in the stringency of environmental regulation and enforcement of environmental standards, and the costs of compliance have risen significantly, a trend we expect will continue in the future.
Competition
The markets for taste and scent are part of a larger market that supplies a wide variety of ingredients and compounds used in consumer products. The broader market includes functional foods and food additives, including seasonings, texturizers, spices, enzymes, certain food-related commodities, and fortified products, as well as nutritional ingredients, supplements and active cosmetic ingredients.
The global market for taste and scent has expanded, primarily as a result of an increase in demand for, and an increase in the variety of, consumer products containing flavors and fragrances.
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The market for taste and scent is highly competitive. Based on annual sales, our main competitors consist of (1) other large global flavor and fragrance manufacturers, Givaudan, Firmenich and Symrise, (2) mid-sized companies, (3) numerous regional and local manufacturers and (4) consumer product companies who may develop their own flavors or fragrances.
We believe that our ability to create products with the sustainability related attributes customers expect and compete successfully in the flavors and fragrances sub-market is based on:
our in-depth understanding of consumers,
vertical integration,
innovation and technological advances from our research and development activities and our perfumers and flavorists,
our ability to tailor products to customers’ needs,
our ability to manufacture products on a global scale, and
broad-based regulatory capabilities.
Large multi-national customers and, increasingly, mid-sized customers, may limit the number of their suppliers by placing some on “core lists,” giving them priority for development and production of their new or modified products. To compete more successfully, we must make continued investments in customer relationships and tailor our research and development efforts to anticipate customers’ needs, provide effective service and secure and maintain inclusion on these “core lists.”
Private label manufacturers, mostly medium-sized, local or small food manufacturers, constitute a growing segment in the flavor market. Over the last decade, with the strengthening of supermarket chains, online platforms and growing consumer price consciousness, consumption of private label products has grown at a faster rate than the brand food industry rate. We believe that new business opportunities will continue to arise from these clients as they are increasing their demand for products that are similar to existing products in the market, distinctive premium products, as well as more innovative products.
The global demand for functional foods, food additives, natural ingredients, nutritional ingredients and supplements and active cosmetic ingredients is also growing. With our recent acquisitions, we have expanded our offerings to include products within the functional food ingredient market, including ingredients focused on improving the health and wellness characteristics of a consumer good, the nutritional supplement and infant nutrition markets and the cosmetic actives market. While the three other large global flavor and fragrance manufacturers, Givaudan, Firmenich and Symrise, are active in these areas, we also compete with specialty chemical companies, other large multi-national companies and smaller regional and local participants that offer products that address these same needs.
Our People
The success of our business is built on our talented employees. At December 31, 2020, we had approximately 13,700 employees worldwide, of whom approximately 2,000 are employed in the United States. With the completion of the N&B Transaction, we added more than 10,000 employees around the world, of whom approximately 30% are employed in the United States.
Culture and Values
Our culture is based on our five corporate values of empowerment, expertise, innovation, integrity and responsibility, and the expression of these values can be seen and felt throughout our history. Our employees appreciate that they contribute to products that touch and enhance the lives of millions of people around the world. In 2020, we implemented a high-performing culture employee engagement initiative designed to further underscore three key attributes of our culture: extreme accountability, bias toward action and effective collaboration. Throughout the year, we engaged with employees around the world as part of this initiative, including senior leader speakers, employee training, employee recognition programs and designating a large number of local employee ambassadors.
Leadership and Development
Our leadership development efforts empower employees to become forward-looking, inspiring and capable decision-makers, agents of change and great leaders. To cultivate our employees’ talent and build sustainable long-lasting careers at IFF, we offer specialized courses for employees globally by partnering with leading institutions and universities to help provide the latest training and development offerings at all levels. We also offer to our employees an extensive library of on-demand courses and materials on leadership, management and professional skills development. These offerings complement our talent acquisition strategy and organized and personalized feedback process, supported by industry-leading assessment tools.
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Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that our differences make us great, as captured in our diversity and inclusion (D&I) vision: “Your Uniqueness Unleashes Our Potential.” To that end, we are dedicated to nurturing a truly inclusive and fair culture through the three pillars of our D&I mission:
Our People embody the mosaic of the markets we serve and are empowered to transform the future
Our Spirit nurtures an inclusive and fair culture where every voice is valued and heard
Our World embraces diversity of thought and strives to do more good, creating a better future for all
In 2020, IFF developed and delivered a broad range of initiatives to support our D&I vision. As part of IFF’s journey to gender parity, the Company in 2020 underwent a rigorous global verification process and attained the Economic Dividends for Gender Equity (EDGE) certification at the MOVE level in 21 countries worldwide, which included an examination of our gender balance across our talent pipeline, gender pay equity, the effectiveness of our framework of policies and practices that ensure equitable career flows and our ability to foster an inclusive workplace culture for all employees. IFF also achieved 100% scores in the Disability Equality Index and achieved the title of best employer for LGBTQ+ employees rating with 100% scores in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and the HRC Equidad Mexico. At the same time, employee resource groups known as “colleague communities” continue to thrive and grow with women@iff and pride@iff opening new chapters at our offices around the world and new colleague communities launching in 2020, such as Soul Black (Brazil), Black Excellence (USA), as well as SERVE, which supports veteran and first responder issues.
Occupational Health & Safety
Employee safety is one of the cornerstones of our business. Our occupational health and safety management system requires and encourages employees and supervised contractors at sites globally to uphold IFF’s protocols, report any incidents and suggest improvements that will increase the safety of work sites. Our safety management system in each country is based on local regulations. In the absence of country-specific requirements, IFF guidelines are implemented, which are based on U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. To work toward a safer workplace, we have put in place a set of protocols and programs related to three areas of focus: (a) safety governance (setting and updating comprehensive safety policies and procedures), (b) safety training of employees on local requirements and IFF policies, and (c) safety culture characterized by awareness and communication. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been following the requirements of governmental authorities and taking additional preventative and protective measures to ensure the safety of our workforce. Moreover, we have developed return-to-workplace protocols and mandatory site guidelines to continue to protect the health and safety of employees at each location and to promote an orderly and phased return for employees who have been working from home.
Availability of Reports
We make available free of charge on or through the “Investors” link on our website, www.iff.com, all materials that we file electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such materials with, or furnishing them to, the SEC. During the period covered by this Form 10-K, we made all such materials available through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after filing such materials with the SEC.
The SEC maintains an Internet website, www.sec.gov, that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information that we file electronically with the SEC.
A copy of our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Conduct, and the charters of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors are posted on the “Investors” section of our website, www.iff.com.
Our principal executive offices are located at 521 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019 (212-765-5500).
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Executive Officers of Registrant
The current executive officers of the Company, as of February 22, 2021, are listed below.
NameAgePosition
Andreas Fibig58Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Rustom Jilla59Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kathy Fortmann53President, Nourish
Simon Herriott57President, Health & Biosciences
Nicolas Mirzayantz58President, Scent
Angela Strzelecki54President, Pharma Solutions
Francisco Fortanet52Executive Vice President, Global Operations Officer
Jennifer Johnson46Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Susana Suarez-Gonzalez51Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Vic Verma52Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Gregory Yep55Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development, Global Integrated Solutions & Sustainability Officer
Michael DeVeau40Senior Vice President, Chief Investor Relations & Communication Officer
Etienne Laurent55Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Cost Synergies
Greg Soutendijk52Senior Vice President, Commercial Excellence
Andreas Fibig has served as our Chair since December 2014 and Chief Executive Officer since September 2014. Mr. Fibig has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2011. Mr. Fibig joined us from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical division of Bayer AG, where he served as President and Chairman of the Board of Management. Prior to Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Fibig held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer Inc., a research-based pharmaceutical company, including as Senior Vice President in the US Pharmaceutical Operations group and as President, Latin America, Africa and Middle East.
Rustom Jilla has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since January 2020. From July 2015 to January 2020, Mr. Jilla served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., a US-listed distributor of metalworking and maintenance repair operations products. Prior to this, Mr. Jilla held group CFO roles with the Dematic Group, a global automated systems solutions provider, and with Ansell Limited, an Australian-listed global leader in protective solutions. Earlier, Mr. Jilla worked at PerkinElmer Inc. and The BOC Group in various finance & product management leadership roles, and he began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He is member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom.
Kathy Fortmann has served as our President, Nourish since October 2020. From April 2020 to October 2020, Ms. Fortmann served as Global Head of Strategy & Cross-Fertilization for the Taste Division (now Nourish). Ms. Fortmann joined us from FrieslandCampina Ingredients at Royal FrieslandCampina, a multinational dairy cooperative, where she served as Business Group President from September 2017 to March 2020. Prior to that, Ms. Fortmann served as a member of the Cargill Executive Team from January 2014 to September 2017 and, earlier, as President, running Food Ingredients Businesses and setting up Cargill Global Business Services to provide IT, Human Resources, Finance, Transportation & Logistics, and Procurement services. Ms. Fortmann started her career as a chemical engineer with DuPont, where she held a number of positions in the U.S.A. and Europe.
Simon Herriott has served as President, Health & Biosciences since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Mr. Herriott was Vice President and Global Business Director, Health & Biosciences for the N&B Business and from 2016 to 2019, he served as Global Business Director, Bioactives, Industrial Biosciences and Vice President, Danisco Inc. Mr. Herriott was employed by DuPont’s predecessor or formerly affiliated companies for 15 years and held a variety of roles, including Global Business Director, Biomaterials, Industrial Biosciences and leadership positions for various businesses that are currently part of DuPont’s Non-Core segment.
Nicolas Mirzayantz has served as our President, Scent since October 2018. Mr. Mirzayantz originally joined our Company in 1988 and was our Group President, Fragrances from January 2007 to October 2018. Mr. Mirzayantz has also served as a member of our Temporary Office of the Chief Executive Officer, our Senior Vice President, Fine Fragrance and Beauty Care and Regional Manager, North America, our Senior Vice President, Fine Fragrance and Beauty Care, and our Vice President Global Fragrance Business Development.
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Angela Strzelecki has served as President, Pharma Solutions since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Dr. Strzelecki was Platform Leader, Pharma Solutions for the N&B Business. From 2013 to 2019, Dr. Strzelecki held a variety of leadership positions at Dupont or its formerly affiliated companies, including Platform Leader, Pharma Solutions for the Nutrition and Health business, Planning Director – Corporate Planning and M&A , Global Business Director – Electronics & Communications, and the North America Business Director – Building Innovations.
Francisco Fortanet has served as our Executive Vice President, Global Operations Officer since August 2015. Prior to his current role, Mr. Fortanet held various leadership positions within the Company, including serving as Frutarom Integration lead and Senior Vice President, Operations, Vice President, Global Manufacturing Compounding, Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Regional Director of North America Operations, the Project Manager of a special project in Ireland, and as Plant Manager in Hazlet, New Jersey. Mr. Fortanet started his career in IFF-Mexico.
Jennifer Johnson has served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Dr. Johnson served as Associate General Counsel for the N&B Business. Dr. Johnson joined DuPont’s predecessor or formerly affiliated companies in 2013, where she led the legal team for DuPont’s former Industrial Biosciences business as Associate General Counsel and subsequently served as Assistant Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Industrial Biosciences. Prior to joining DuPont, Dr. Johnson was a Partner at the law firm of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.
Susana Suarez-Gonzalez has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion Officer since February 2021. From November 2016 to February 2021, Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez was Senior Vice President, Global Operations & Centers Expertise, Human Resources of Fluor Corporation, an engineering construction company. Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez began her career at Fluor Corporation in 1991, and during her 25 years with the company, she held various leadership positions across several business groups and functions including construction, marketing, sales, project engineering and human resources.
Vic Verma has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer since February 2021 and had previously served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer from 2016 to February 2021. Before joining the Company, Mr. Verma served as Vice President of Global Infrastructure Operations at American Express, a multinational financial services company. Prior to that, Mr. Verma held several other leadership positions at American Express as well as Vice President, Division CIO and management consulting roles with GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Gregory Yep has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development, Global Integrated Solutions & Sustainability Officer since February 2021. From June 2016 to February 2021, he serves as our Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development and Sustainability Officer. From January 2015 to June 2016, Dr. Yep was Senior Vice President of Research, Development & Applications with The Kerry Group, a taste and nutrition company. Prior to The Kerry Group, Dr. Yep was Senior Vice President of R&D at PepsiCo, a multinational food, snack and beverage corporation, and was Global Vice President, Application Technologies at Givaudan Flavors and Fragrances, a multinational manufacturer of flavors, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients. Earlier in his career, Dr. Yep was at McCormick & Company, a flavor, seasonings and spices company, where he held executive roles of increasing responsibility in food science.
Michael DeVeau has served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Investor Relations & Communications Officer since February 2021 and had previously served as our Vice President, Investor Relations, Communications, and Chief of Staff from September 2014 to February 2021, as well as divisional Chief Financial Officer, Scent from 2018 to 2020 and head of Corporate Strategy from 2016 to 2018. Since joining the Company in 2009 as head of investor relations, Mr. DeVeau has held various roles of increasing scope and responsibility in communications, finance and strategy. Prior to joining the Company, he served in leadership positions in investor relations, finance and corporate development at PepsiCo, a multinational food, snack and beverage company. Mr. DeVeau began his career as an Equity Research Analyst at Citigroup Investment Research.
Etienne Laurent has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Cost Synergies since February 2021. From 2014 to February 2021, Mr. Laurent served as Divisional CFO for the N&B Business. Earlier, he held a variety of positions at DuPont’s predecessor or formerly affiliated companies, including EMEA regional CFO, Leader of Sourcing and Logistics for the EMEA region, and multiple roles in Treasury, Controllership, Audit and FP&A.
Greg Soutendijk has served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Excellence since February 2021. From 2015 to February 2021, Mr. Soutendijk was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Mr. Soutendijk joined the Company in The Netherlands as Vice President, Global Fragrance Ingredient Sales in 2006 and subsequently served as Regional General Manager for Fragrances, Greater Asia and Regional General Manager, Greater Asia. Earlier in his career, Mr. Soutendijk held various positions at IFF and Bush Boake Allen, a company acquired by IFF. Prior to joining IFF, Mr. Soutendijk worked in Investment Banking for Credit Suisse Group.
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ITEM 1A.RISK FACTORS.
Risk Factor Summary
The following summary highlights some of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. This summary is not complete and the risks summarized below are not the only risks we face. These risks are discussed more fully further below in this section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A. of this report. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
The COVID-19 pandemic may materially and adversely impact our operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The integration of the N&B Business may present significant challenges, and we may not realize anticipated synergies and other benefits of the N&B Transaction.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness following the N&B Transaction, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition.
We have incurred, and will incur, substantial direct and indirect costs as a result of the N&B Transaction.
In connection with the N&B Transaction, we are required to abide by potentially significant restrictions which could limit our ability to undertake certain corporate actions (such as the issuance of common stock or the undertaking of a merger or consolidation) that otherwise could be advantageous.
We may be unable to provide (or obtain from third-parties) the same types and level of services to the N&B Business that historically have been provided by DuPont, or may be unable to provide (or obtain) them at the same cost.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected if we cannot negotiate terms that are as favorable as those DuPont has received when we replace contracts after the closing of the N&B Transaction.
Our success will also depend on relationships with third parties and our pre-existing customers and the pre-existing customers of the N&B Business, which relationships may be affected by customer or third-party preferences or public attitudes about the N&B Transaction. Any adverse changes in these relationships could adversely affect the our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We may not realize all the synergies and other benefits anticipated from the Frutarom acquisition, which could adversely affect our business.
If we are unable to successfully market to our expanded and diverse customer base, our operating results and future growth may be adversely affected.
Failure to successfully establish and manage acquisitions, collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships could adversely affect our growth.
Our business is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively our sales and results of operations will suffer.
Our success depends on attracting and retaining talented people within our business. Significant shortfalls in recruitment or retention could adversely affect our ability to compete and achieve our strategic goals.
A significant portion of our sales is generated from a limited number of large multi-national customers, which are currently under competitive pressures that may affect the demand for our products and profitability.
We may not successfully develop and introduce new products that meet our customers’ needs, which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Natural disasters, public health crises (such as the COVID-19 outbreak), international conflicts, terrorist acts, labor strikes, political crisis, accidents and other events could adversely affect our business and financial results by disrupting development, manufacturing, distribution or sale of our products.
A disruption in our supply chain, including the inability to obtain ingredients and raw materials from third parties, could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Volatility and increases in the price of raw materials, energy and transportation, including due to climate change, could harm our profits.
A significant data breach or other disruption to our information technology systems could disrupt our operations, result in the loss of confidential information or personal data, and adversely impact our reputation, business or results of operations.
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We have made investments in and continue to expand our business into emerging markets, which exposes us to certain risks.
The impact of currency fluctuation or devaluation in the international markets in which we operate may negatively affect our results of operations.
International economic, political, legal, compliance and business factors could negatively affect our financial statements, operations and growth.
Economic uncertainty may adversely affect demand for our products which may have a negative impact on our operating results and future growth.
Increasing awareness of health and wellness are driving changes in the consumer products industry, and if we are unable to react in a timely and cost-effective manner, our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We are subject to increasing customer, consumer and regulatory focus on sustainability issues, which may result in additional costs in order to meet new requirements or integrate the N&B Business and Frutarom with our sustainability practices.
Our performance may be adversely impacted if we are not successful in managing our inventory and/or working capital balances.
Any impairment of our tangible or intangible long-lived assets, including goodwill, may adversely impact our profitability.
Our funding obligations for our pension and postretirement plans could adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.
The expected phase out of the London Interbank Office Rate (“LIBOR”) could impact the interest rates paid on our variable rate indebtedness and cause our interest expense to increase.
Our business may be negatively impacted as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
If we are unable to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, including those regarding product safety, quality, efficacy and environmental impact, we could incur significant costs and suffer reputational harm which could adversely affect results of operations.
Failure to comply with environmental protection laws may cause us to close, relocate or operate one or more of our plants at reduced production levels, and expose us to civil or criminal liability, which could adversely affect our operating results and future growth.
We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or similar U.S. or foreign anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Defects, quality issues, inadequate disclosure or misuse with respect to the products and capabilities could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.
Our ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.
Our results of operations may be negatively impacted by the outcome of uncertainties related to litigation.
Changes in our tax rates, the adoption of new U.S. or international tax legislation, or changes in existing tax laws could expose us to additional tax liabilities that may affect our future results.
The N&B Transaction could result in significant tax liability, and we may be obligated to indemnify DuPont for any such tax liability imposed on DuPont.
If we fail to comply with data protection laws in the U.S. and abroad, we may be subject to fines, penalties and other costs.
Risk Factors
We routinely encounter and address risks in conducting our business. Some of these risks may cause our future results to be different - sometimes materially different - than we presently anticipate. Below are material risks we have identified that could adversely affect our business. How we react to material future developments, as well as how our competitors and customers react to those developments, could also affect our future results.
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Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic may materially and adversely impact our operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
COVID-19 was identified in China in late 2019 and since then has spread globally. Government authorities, including those in countries where we have manufacturing and other operations, have taken various measures to try to contain this spread, such as the closure of non-essential businesses, reduced travel, the closure of retail establishments, the promotion of social distancing and remote working policies where appropriate. These measures have impacted and may further impact our workforce and operations, and the operations of our customers, vendors and suppliers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected our operations, financial condition and results of operations to a number of risks, including, but not limited to, those discussed below:
Operations-related risks: Our manufacturing plants continue to operate world-wide in compliance with the orders and restrictions imposed by government authorities in each of our locations, and we are working with our customers to meet their specific shipment needs. Most plants have restored operations to historical levels, notwithstanding that certain restrictions imposed to ensure safe operations remain in place. In some instances, the N&B Business's manufacturing sites have reduced certain operations or furloughed employees in response to government measures, employee welfare concerns and the impact of COVID-19 on the global demand and supply chain. Some of our research and development and creative applications centers are operating on limited schedules or with a reduced workforce of essential employees as a result of certain safety measures implemented by us to limit the number of the on-site workforce.
Our ability to continue to supply our products is highly dependent on our ability to maintain the safety of our workforce. The ability of employees to work may be significantly impacted by individuals contracting or being exposed to COVID-19, and our operations and financial results may be negatively affected as a result. We have developed return-to-workplace protocols and mandatory site guidelines to continue to protect the health and safety of employees at each location and to promote an orderly and phased return for employees who have been working from home. While we are following the requirements of governmental authorities and taking additional preventative and protective measures to ensure the safety of our workforce, there can be no assurance that these measures will be successful, and to the extent that employees in our manufacturing or distribution centers contract COVID-19, we may be required to temporarily close those facilities, which may result in reduced production hours, more rigorous cleaning processes and other preventative and protective measures for employees. Workforce disruptions of this nature may significantly impact our ability to maintain our operations and may adversely impact our financial results.
Resolving such operational challenges has increased certain costs, such as labor, shipping, and cleaning, and the failure to resolve such challenges may result in our inability to deliver products to our customers and reduce sales.
Supply chain-related risks: We have experienced some disruption, primarily regarding distribution of certain raw materials and transport logistics in markets where governments have implemented the strictest regulations. More significant disruptions may occur if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact markets around the world. In addition, as a result of disruptions or uncertainty relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are experiencing, and may continue to experience, increased costs, delays or limited availability related to raw materials, shipping and transportation resources, which has negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our margins and operating results.
Customer-related risks: We are experiencing, and may continue to experience, changes in the demand and volume for certain of our products, including due to consumption or stocking behavior changes. For example, ingredients used in products sold mainly in retail outlets, such as fine fragrances or taste products used in retail food services, have seen a decrease in demand as these outlets have closed due to COVID-19 related restrictions. Similarly, the N&B Business experienced COVID-19 related declines in demand from food service distribution channels and for products for the oil and gas and select industrial end-markets, including for biorefinery and microbial control. In addition, we have received requests for extensions in payment terms from some customers in select markets whose products are experiencing reduced demand.
Although we do not currently anticipate any impairment charges related to COVID-19, the continuing effects of a prolonged pandemic could result in increased risk to us of asset write-downs and impairments, including, but not limited to, equity investments, goodwill and intangibles. Any of these events could potentially result in a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
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Integration execution risks: The travel and operational restrictions related to Covid-19 have changed the way we operate, interact and collaborate internally and externally. If these restrictions persist, they may impact our ability to prepare and implement detailed integration plans in connection with the N&B Business needed to achieve our revenue and cost synergy targets.
Market-related risks: The funding obligations for our pension plans will be impacted by the performance of the financial markets, particularly the equity markets and interest rates. Lower interest rates and lower expected asset valuations and returns can materially impact the calculation of long-term liabilities such as pension liabilities. In addition, the volatility in financial and commodities markets may have adverse impacts on other asset valuations such as the value of the investment portfolios supporting pension obligations. If the financial markets do not provide the long-term returns that are expected, we could be required to make larger contributions.
In addition to the risks noted above, COVID-19 may also heighten other risks described herein, including, but not limited to, risks related to a decrease in global demand for consumer products, manufacturing disruptions, disruption or cost increases in the supply chain, price volatility for raw materials, level of indebtedness, currency fluctuations and impairment of long-lived assets. The magnitude of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extent of its impact on our operating and financial results, will be determined by the length of time that the pandemic continues, and while government authorities’ measures relating to COVID-19 may be relaxed if and when COVID-19 abates, these measures may be reinstated as the pandemic continues to evolve. The scope and timing of any such reinstatements are difficult to predict and may materially impact our operations in the future. As COVID-19 continues to adversely impact the broader global economy, including negatively impacting economic growth and creating disruption and volatility in the global financial and capital markets, which increases the cost of capital and adversely impacts the availability of and access to capital, this could negatively affect our liquidity, which could in turn negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The COVID-19 pandemic may also affect our operating and financial results in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not expect to present significant risks.
The integration of the N&B Business may present significant challenges, and we may not realize anticipated synergies and other benefits of the N&B Transaction.
The combination of large, diverse and independent businesses is complex, costly and time-consuming. Designing and building our combined operating models along with the necessary business processes, systems and infrastructure in connection with our combination with the N&B Business may divert significant management attention and resources and disrupt our legacy business. The failure to meet the challenges involved in integrating the businesses and to realize the anticipated benefits of the transaction could cause an interruption of, or a loss of momentum in, our business activities and could adversely affect our results of operations. The overall combination with the N&B Business may also result in material unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, competitive responses, employee turnover and loss of customer and other business relationships. The difficulties of integration include, among others:
the diversion of management attention to integration matters;
integrating operations and systems, including intellectual property and communications systems, administrative and information technology infrastructure and financial reporting and internal control systems, some of which may prove to be incompatible;
conforming standards, controls, procedures and accounting and other policies, business cultures and compensation structures between the businesses;
integrating employees and attracting and retaining key personnel, including talent;
retaining existing, and obtaining new customers and suppliers;
integrating and managing the expanded operations of a significantly larger and more complex company;
contingent liabilities that are larger than expected; and
potential unknown liabilities, adverse consequences and unforeseen increased expenses associated with the transaction.
Many of these factors are outside of our complete control and/or will be outside the control of the N&B Business, and any one of them could result in lower revenues, higher costs and diversion of management time and energy, which could materially impact the business, financial condition and results of operations of our business. We bear full responsibility for any and all N&B liabilities and issues with N&B assets following the closing of the N&B Transaction even if related to a breach of a representation under the Merger Agreement. To the extent any such N&B liabilities are larger than anticipated, or an issue with an N&B asset prohibits the N&B Business from performing as planned, it could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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In addition, even if the operations of the N&B Business are integrated successfully, the full benefits of the transaction may not be realized, including, among others, the synergies, cost savings or revenue growth that are expected. These benefits may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all. Further, additional unanticipated costs may be incurred in the integration of the N&B Business. All of these factors could cause dilution to our earnings per share, decrease or delay the projected accretive effect of the N&B Transaction, and negatively impact the price of IFF common stock following the N&B Transaction.
The substantial amount of indebtedness that we incurred in connection with the N&B Transaction could materially adversely affect our financial condition.
In connection with the N&B Transaction, our consolidated indebtedness and that of our subsidiaries include the indebtedness incurred by N&B in the debt financings completed prior to the N&B Transaction, increasing our indebtedness by $7.5 billion. As of December 31, 2020, our total debt consisted of $4.4 billion. Despite our level of indebtedness, we expect to continue to have the ability to borrow additional debt.
There may be circumstances in which required payments of principal and/or interest on our debt could adversely affect our cash flows, our operating results or our ability to return capital to our shareholders. Furthermore, our degree of leverage could adversely affect our future credit ratings. If we are unable to maintain or improve our current investment grade rating, it could adversely affect our future cost of funding, liquidity and access to capital markets. In addition, our current level of leverage could increase our vulnerability to sustained, adverse macroeconomic weakness, limit our ability to obtain further financing, and our ability to pursue certain operational and strategic opportunities, including large acquisitions. Our level of indebtedness as well as our failure to comply with covenants under our debt instruments, could adversely affect our business, results of operation and financial condition or our ability to return capital to our shareholders and the additional debt instruments may subject us to additional covenants.
We have incurred, and will incur, substantial direct and indirect costs as a result of the N&B Transaction.
We have incurred, and will incur, substantial expenses or required investments in connection with and as a result of completing the N&B Transaction, including financial advisory, legal, accounting, consulting and other integration related advisory fees and expenses, regulatory filings and filing and printing fees.
In addition, over a period of time following the closing, we expect to incur substantial expenses in connection with transitioning, integrating and coordinating the businesses, operations, policies and procedures of us and the N&B Business. While we have assumed that a certain level of transaction expenses will be incurred, factors beyond our control could affect the total amount or the timing of these expenses. Many of the expenses that will be incurred, by their nature, are difficult to estimate accurately. These costs could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations prior to the transaction and of the combined businesses following the transaction.
In connection with the N&B Transaction, we are required to abide by potentially significant restrictions which could limit our ability to undertake certain corporate actions (such as the issuance of common stock or the undertaking of a merger or consolidation) that otherwise could be advantageous.
During the two year period following the closing of the N&B Transaction, we and our respective subsidiaries are generally prohibited from taking certain actions that could cause certain aspects of the N&B Transaction and certain historic transactions undertaken by DuPont to fail to qualify as tax-free transactions unless we receive either (i) an opinion of counsel or (ii) a ruling from the IRS or other applicable tax authority, in either case acceptable to DuPont (in DuPont’s discretion), to the effect that such action or actions will not cause a relevant transaction to fail to qualify as a tax-free transaction. These restrictions may limit our ability to pursue certain strategic transactions or engage in other transactions, including using IFF common stock to make acquisitions and in connection with equity capital market transactions or disposing of certain businesses that might increase the value of our business.
We may be unable to provide (or obtain from third-parties) the same types and level of services to the N&B Business that historically have been provided by DuPont, or may be unable to provide (or obtain) them at the same cost.
As part of DuPont, the N&B Business received services from DuPont. Following the N&B Transaction, we will need to replace these services either by providing them internally from our existing services or by obtaining them from unaffiliated third parties. These services include certain corporate level functions of which the effective and appropriate performance is critical to our operations following the N&B Transaction. While DuPont will provide certain services on a transitional basis pursuant to the transition services agreements entered into in connection with the N&B Transaction, the duration of such services is generally limited to no longer than three years from the date of the separation of DuPont and the N&B Business for information technology services and no longer than two years from the date of the separation of DuPont and the N&B Business for all other services. We may be unable to replace these services in a timely manner or on terms and conditions as favorable as those the N&B Business previously received from DuPont. The costs for these services could in the aggregate be higher than the combination of our current costs and those reflected in the historical financial statements of the N&B Business. If we are not
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able to replace the services provided by DuPont or we are unable to replace them at the same cost or is delayed in replacing the services provided by DuPont, our results of operations may be materially adversely impacted.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected following the N&B Transaction if we cannot negotiate terms that are as favorable as those DuPont has received when we replace contracts after the closing of the N&B Transaction.
As a part of DuPont, the N&B Business has been able to benefit from DuPont’s financial strength, extensive business relationships and purchasing power. Following the N&B Transaction, we will not be able to leverage DuPont’s financial strength, may not have access to all of DuPont’s extensive business relationships and may not have purchasing power similar to what the N&B Business benefited from by being a part of DuPont prior to the N&B Transaction. It is therefore possible, whether as a result of routine renegotiations of terms in the ordinary course of business, or as part of a request for a renewal, replacement, or amendment of a contract, that we may not be able to negotiate terms as favorable as those DuPont has received and in the aggregate it is possible that the loss or renegotiation of contracts in connection with the foregoing could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations following the closing of the N&B Transactions by increasing costs or decreasing revenues.
Our success will also depend on relationships with third parties and our pre-existing customers and the pre-existing customers of the N&B Business, which relationships may be affected by customer or third-party preferences or public attitudes about the N&B Transaction. Any adverse changes in these relationships could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our success will depend on the ability to maintain, renew and grow our relationships with pre-existing customers, suppliers and other third parties of ours and of the N&B Business, and our ability to establish new relationships. There can be no assurance that our business will be able to maintain and renew pre-existing contracts and other business relationships or enter into or maintain new contracts and other business relationships, on acceptable terms, if at all. The failure to maintain important business relationships could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We may not realize all the synergies and other benefits anticipated from the Frutarom acquisition, which could adversely affect our business.
The full benefits of the Frutarom acquisition depend on the continuing realization of cost synergies through global footprint optimization across manufacturing, the realization of procurement synergies, organizational and operational efficiencies in overhead expenses, as well as revenue growth and synergies by leveraging customer relationships across a much broader customer base and cross-selling legacy IFF and Frutarom capabilities. These benefits and the expected revenue growth may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all. Further, additional unanticipated costs may be incurred as we continue to work towards achieving the full cost and revenue synergies. If the anticipated benefits from the Frutarom acquisition are not fully realized, or take longer to realize than expected, the value of our common stock, revenues, levels of expenses and results of operations may be adversely affected.
If we are unable to successfully market to our expanded and diverse customer base, our operating results and future growth may be adversely affected.
As a result of our acquisition of Frutarom and the N&B Transaction, the number of our customers significantly increased and became more diverse. Our historical customer base was primarily comprised of large and medium-sized food, beverage and consumer products companies. Based on 2020 sales, we had approximately 33,000 customers, approximately 65% of which are small and mid-sized companies. Following the N&B Transaction, our customer base has further increased significantly. This substantial increase in and diversity of our customer base requires us to adjust, among other things, our product development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, customer relationship and sales strategy as well as adapt corporate, information technology, finance and administrative infrastructures to support different go-to-market models. We may experience difficulty managing the growth of a portfolio of customers that is more diverse in terms of its geographical presence as well as with respect to the types of services they require and the infrastructure required to deliver our products. If we are unable to successfully gain market share or maintain our relationships with these customers, our future growth could be adversely affected.
Failure to successfully establish and manage acquisitions, collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships could adversely affect our growth.
From time to time, we evaluate acquisition candidates that may strategically fit our business and/or growth objectives. If we are unable to successfully integrate and develop acquired businesses, we could fail to achieve anticipated synergies and cost savings, including any expected increase in revenues and operating results, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results. We may also incur asset impairment charges related to acquisitions that reduce our earnings.
Additionally, we also evaluate and enter into collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships from time to time to enhance our research and development efforts or expand our product portfolios and technology. The process of establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships is difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, document and implement. We may not be able to
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successfully negotiate such arrangements or the terms of the arrangements may not be as favorable as anticipated. Furthermore, our ability to generate revenues from such collaborations will depend on our partners’ abilities and efforts to successfully perform the functions assigned to them in these arrangements and these collaborations may not lead to development or commercialization of products in the most efficient manner, or at all. In addition, from time to time, we have acquired, and we may acquire, only a majority interest in companies and provided or may provide earnouts for the former owners along with the ability, at our option, or obligation, at the former owners’ option, to purchase the minority interests at a future date at an established price. These investments may have additional risks and may not be as efficient as other operations as we may have fiduciary or contractual obligations to the minority investors and may rely on former owners for the continuing operation of the acquired business. If we are unable to successfully establish and manage these collaborative relationships and majority investments it could adversely affect our future growth.
Our business is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively our sales and results of operations will suffer.
The markets in which we compete are highly competitive. We face vigorous competition from companies throughout the world, including multi-national and specialized companies active in flavors, fragrances, enzymes, pharmaceutical excipients, nutrition and specialty ingredients, as well as consumer product companies which may develop their own flavors, fragrances or ingredients. In the flavors industry, we also face increasing competition from ingredient suppliers that have expanded their portfolios to include flavor offerings. Some of our competitors specialize in one or more of our product sub-segments, while others participate in many of our product sub-segments. In addition, some of our global competitors may have more resources than we do or may have proprietary products that could permit them to respond to changing business and economic conditions more effectively than we can. Consolidation of or partnerships among our competitors may exacerbate these risks.
As we continue to enter into adjacent markets, such as cosmetic ingredients, functional foods, specialty fine ingredients and nutrition products, we may face greater competition-related risks in these markets than with our core historic flavor and fragrances businesses. For example, the specialty fine ingredients market is more price sensitive than the flavors market and is characterized by relatively lower profit margins. Some fine ingredients products are less unique and more replaceable than competitors’ products. There is no assurance that operating margins will remain at current levels, which could substantially impact our business, operating results and financial condition.
Competition in our business is based, among other things, on innovation, product quality, regulatory compliance, pricing, quality of customer service, the support provided by marketing and application groups, and understanding of consumers. It is difficult for us to predict the timing, scale and success of our competitors’ actions in these areas. In particular, the discovery and development of new products, protection of our intellectual property and development and retention of key employees are critical to our ability to effectively compete in our business. Advancement in technologies have also enhanced the ability of our competitors to develop substitutable products. Increased competition by existing or future competitors, including aggressive price competition, could result in the loss of sales, reduced pricing and margin pressure and could adversely impact our sales and profitability.
Failing to identify and make capital expenditures to achieve growth opportunities, being unable to make new concepts scalable, or failing to effectively and timely reinvest in our business operations, could result in the loss of competitive position and adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
Our success depends on attracting and retaining talented people within our business. Significant shortfalls in recruitment or retention could adversely affect our ability to compete and achieve our strategic goals.
Attracting, developing, and retaining talented employees, including our perfumers, scientists and flavorists, is essential to the successful delivery of our products and success in the marketplace. Furthermore, as we continue to focus on innovation, our need for scientists and other professionals will increase. The ability to attract and retain talented employees is critical in the development of new products and technologies which is an integral component of our growth strategy.
Competition for employees can be intense and if we are unable to successfully integrate, motivate and reward the acquired Frutarom employees, employees from the N&B Business or our current employees in our combined company, we may not be able to retain them. If we are unable to retain these employees or attract new employees in the future, our ability to effectively compete with our competitors and to grow our business could be adversely affected.
A significant portion of our sales is generated from a limited number of large multi-national customers, which are currently under competitive pressures that may affect the demand for our products and profitability.
During 2020, our 25 largest customers, each of which was a multi-national consumer products company, collectively accounted for 39% of our sales in the aggregate. Large multi-national customers’ market share, especially in the consumer product industry, continues to be pressured by new smaller companies and specialty players that cater to or are more adept at adjusting to the latest consumer trends, including towards natural products and clean labels, changes in the retail landscape (including e-commerce and consolidation), and increased competition from private labels, which have resulted and may
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continue to result in decreased demand for our products by such multi-national customers and volume erosion, especially in our Taste business. Furthermore, consolidations amongst our customers have resulted in larger and more sophisticated customers with greater buying power and additional negotiating strength. If such trends continue, our sales could be adversely impacted if we are not able to replace these sales.
In addition, large multi-national customers and, increasingly middle market customers, continue to utilize “core lists” of suppliers to improve margins and profitability. Typically, these “core list" suppliers are then given priority for new or modified products. Recently, these customers are making inclusion on their “core lists” contingent upon a supplier providing more favorable commercial terms, including rebates, which could adversely affect our margins. We must either offer competitive cost-in-use solutions to secure and maintain inclusion on these “core lists” or seek to manage the relationship without being on the “core-list.” If we choose not to pursue “core-list” status due to profitability concerns or if we are unable to obtain “core-list” status, our ability to maintain our share of these customers’ future purchases could be adversely affected and therefore our future results of operations.
We may not successfully develop and introduce new products that meet our customers’ needs, which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Our ability to differentiate ourselves and deliver growth largely depends on our ability to successfully develop and introduce new products and product improvements that meet our customers’ needs, and ultimately appeal to consumers. Innovation is a key element of our ability to develop and introduce new products. We cannot be certain that we will be successful in achieving our innovation goals, such as the development of new molecules, new and expanded delivery systems and other technologies. We currently spend approximately 7.0% of our sales on research and development; however, this investment level may vary in the future if available resources to invest in research and development are limited due to our ongoing integration and restructuring efforts. Our research and development investments may only generate future revenues to the extent that we are able to develop products that meet our customers’ specifications, are at an acceptable cost and achieve acceptance by the targeted consumer market. Furthermore, there may be significant lag times from the time we incur research and development costs to the time that these research and development costs may result in increased revenue. Consequently, even when we “win” a project, our ability to generate revenues as a result of these investments is subject to numerous customer, economic and other risks that are outside of our control, including delays by our customers in the launch of a new product, the level of promotional support for the launch, poor performance of our third-party vendors, anticipated sales by our customers not being realized or changes in market preferences or demands, or disruptive innovations by competitors.
Natural disasters, public health crises (such as the COVID-19), international conflicts, terrorist acts, labor strikes, political crisis, accidents and other events could adversely affect our business and financial results by disrupting development, manufacturing, distribution or sale of our products.
As a company engaged in the global development, manufacture and distribution of products, we are subject to the risks inherent in such activities, including industrial accidents, environmental events, strikes and other labor disputes, product quality control issues, safety, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters, public health crises, such as pandemics or epidemics, international conflicts, terrorist acts and other external factors over which we have no control.
While we operate research and development, manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the world, many of these facilities are extremely specialized and certain of our research and development or creative laboratories facilities are uniquely situated to support our research and development efforts while certain of our manufacturing facilities are the sole location where a specific ingredient or product is produced. If our research and development activities or the manufacturing of ingredients or products were disrupted, the cost of relocating or replacing these activities or reformulating these ingredients or products may be substantial, which could result in production or development delays or otherwise have an adverse effect on our margins, operating results and future growth.
For example, in December 2019, there was an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China that has since spread to other regions in China and the rest of the world. As a result of restrictions imposed by governments to contain the outbreak, a portion of our manufacturing plants and offices were required to close. The outbreak may result in additional or more extensive travel restrictions, closures, disruptions of businesses or facilities in affected regions around the world or lead to social, economic, political or labor instability in the affected areas may impact our, our suppliers’ or our customers’ operations. The outbreak may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. At this point, the extent of such impact is uncertain.
A disruption in our supply chain, including the inability to obtain ingredients and raw materials from third parties, could adversely affect our business and financial results.
In connection with our manufacture of our fragrance and flavor products, we often rely on third party suppliers for ingredients and raw materials that are integral to our manufacture of such compounds. In addition, with the N&B Transaction, we significantly increased our natural products and, as a result, the percentage of our ingredients that are natural or crop-related
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has increased. Our purchases of raw materials are subject to fluctuations in market price and availability caused by weather conditions, climate change, as further discussed below, market conditions, governmental actions and other factors beyond our control affecting us and/or our suppliers. Import alerts or specific country regulations may impair or delay our ability to obtain sufficient quantity of certain ingredients, raw materials and naturals at the relevant manufacturing facility. In addition, our ingredient or raw material suppliers, similar to us, are subject to risks, as applicable, inherent in agriculture, manufacturing and distribution on a global scale, including industrial accidents, environmental events, strikes and other labor disputes, disruptions in supply chain or information systems, disruption or loss of key research or manufacturing sites, product quality control, safety and environmental compliance issues, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters, global or local health crisis, international conflicts, terrorist acts and other external factors over which they have no control. For example, as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, the ability of our suppliers and vendors to provide products and services to us may be impaired or delayed. These suppliers also could become insolvent or experience other financial distress. For example, in 2017, a fire at the manufacturing facility of BASF Group (“BASF”), one of our suppliers, caused them to declare a force majeure and has resulted in industry disruption due to the lack of availability of certain ingredients used in many fragrance compounds.
These risks are enhanced since we often rely on a limited number of suppliers for particular ingredients. If our suppliers are unable to supply us with sufficient quantities of ingredients and raw materials to meet our needs, we would need to seek alternative sources of such materials or pursue our own production of such ingredients or direct acquisition of such raw materials. However, for certain of our ingredients and raw materials we rely on a limited number of suppliers where there are not readily available alternatives. If we are unable to obtain or manufacture alternative sources of such ingredients or raw materials at a similar cost, we would seek to (i) reformulate our compounds and/or (ii) increase pricing to reflect the higher supply cost. However, if we are not able to successfully implement any of these alternatives, we could experience disruptions in production, increased cost of sales and a corresponding decrease in gross margin or reduced sales, especially if our competitors were able to more successfully adjust to such market disruption. At the same time, industry-wide supply disruptions, such as the one caused by the BASF incident, may lead to broader market shortages and sales volatility. Such fluctuations and decrease in gross margin could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Volatility and increases in the price of raw materials, energy and transportation, including due to climate change, could harm our profits.
We use many different raw materials for our business, particularly natural products, including essential oils, extracts and concentrates derived from fruits, vegetables, flowers, woods and other botanicals, animal products, raw fruits, organic chemicals and petroleum-based chemicals, as well as, in connection with the N&B Business, gelatin, glycols, cellulose processed grains (including dextrose and glucose), guar, locust bean gum, organic vegetable oils, peels, saccharides, seaweed, soybeans, and sugars and yeasts. We have experienced price volatility with respect to raw materials. For example, there has been industry-wide price volatility of certain ingredients used in fragrance compounds due to the BASF incident. In 2019 and 2020, we experienced increases in the prices of certain naturals. In addition, in connection with the outbreak of COVID-19, we may experience price volatility of certain raw materials as a result of restrictions on travel and movement and other measures enacted by countries around the world to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Natural products represent approximately sixty percent of our raw material spend, and we expect such volatility to continue in the near future. In addition, because we offer a substantial number of natural product offerings and often rely on a limited number of suppliers for certain products, this risk may be exacerbated. There is growing evidence that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather and precipitation patterns, growing and harvesting conditions, and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires, droughts and water scarcity. To the extent such climate change effects have a negative impact on crop size and quality, it could impact the availability and pricing of these natural products. If we are unable to increase the prices to our customers of our products to offset raw material and other input cost increases, or if we are unable to achieve cost savings to offset such cost increases, we could fail to meet our cost expectations and our profits and operating results could be adversely affected. Increases in prices of our products to customers may lead to declines in sales volumes, and we may not be able to accurately predict the volume impact of price increases, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Similarly, synthetic commodities dependent on oil feedstock are affected by climate policies and energy production restrictions and pricing. Energy prices are subject to significant volatility caused by, among other things, market fluctuations, supply and demand prices are subject to significant volatility caused by, among other things, market fluctuations, supply and demand, currency fluctuations, production and transportation disruptions, climate change and weather conditions, and other world events. As we source many of our raw materials globally to help ensure quality control, if the cost of energy, shipping or transportation increases and we are unable to, timely and fully, pass along these costs to our customers, our profit margins would be adversely affected. In connection with our combination with the N&B Business, a majority of the revenue generated by N&B Business’s former Pharma Solutions segment, and to a lesser extent, the N&B’s former Food & Beverage and Health & Biosciences segments, is pursuant to contracts which are subject to renewal annually or allow price to be adjusted annually
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under certain circumstances, including changes in raw material costs. Furthermore, increasing our prices to our customers could result in long-term sales declines or loss of market share if our customers find alternative suppliers or choose to reformulate their consumer products to use fewer ingredients, which could have an adverse long-term impact on our results of operations. Our ability to price our products competitively to timely reflect volatility in prices of raw material and ingredients is critical to maintain and grow our sales. To mitigate our sourcing risk, we maintain strategic stock levels for critical items. However, if we do not accurately estimate the amount of raw materials that will be used for the geographic region in which we will need these materials or competitively price our products, our margins could be adversely affected.
A significant data breach or other disruption to our information technology systems could disrupt our operations, result in the loss of confidential information or personal data, and adversely impact our reputation, business or results of operations.
We rely on information technology systems, including some managed by third-party providers, to conduct business and support our business processes, including those relating to product formulas, product development, manufacturing, sales, order and invoice processing, production, distribution, internal communications and communications with third parties throughout the world, processing transactions, summarizing and reporting results of operations, complying with regulatory, tax or legal requirements, and collecting and storing customer, supplier, employee and other stakeholder information. Cyber security incidents, data breaches and operational disruptions are constantly evolving, becoming more sophisticated and are conducted by groups and individuals with a wide range of expertise and motives, including foreign governments, cyber terrorists, cyber criminals and malicious employees and other insiders and outsiders. We and our third-party providers are subject to risks posed by such incidents, which can take many forms, including code anomalies, “Acts of God,” data leakage, hardware or software failures, human error, cyber extortion, password theft or introduction of viruses, malware, and ransomware, including through phishing emails.
A disruption to our information technology systems could result in the loss of confidential business, customer, supplier or employee information, litigation or fines and may require substantial investigations, repairs or replacements, or impact our ability to summarize and report financial results in a timely manner, resulting in significant financial, legal, and relational costs and potentially harming our reputation and adversely impacting our operations, customer service and results of operations. As we work on upgrading and integrating N&B’s and Frutarom’s systems, these risks may be exacerbated. Additionally, a security or data breach could require us to devote significant management and financial resources to address the problems created, and, as a result of the private rights of action provided for under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”) and other laws relating to data protection and privacy in other jurisdictions, in the event of such breaches, additional private litigation against us may result. These types of adverse impacts could also occur in the event the confidentiality, integrity or availability of company, customer, supplier or employee information are compromised due to a data loss by us or a trusted third party. We or the third parties with which we share information may not discover any such incidents and loss of information for a significant period of time after the incident occurs. In addition, as a result of COVID-19, we are facing increased operational challenges as we take measures to support and protect employee health and safety, including implementing work-from-home policies for employees. In particular, our remote work arrangements, coupled with stay-at-home orders, may pose challenges for our employees and our IT systems and extended periods of remote work arrangements could introduce operational risk, including cybersecurity and IT systems management risks. Although we have developed systems and processes that are designed to protect our data and customer data and to prevent data loss and other security breaches and expect to continue to expend additional resources to bolster these protections, these security measures cannot provide absolute security and we may be unable to detect or prevent a breach or disruption in the future. Additionally, while we have insurance coverage designed to address certain aspects of cyber risks in place, such insurance coverage may be insufficient to cover all losses or all types of claims that may arise.
We have made investments in and continue to expand our business into emerging markets, which exposes us to certain risks.
As part of our growth strategy, we have increased our presence in emerging markets by expanding our manufacturing presence, sales organization and product offerings in these markets, and we expect to continue to expand our business in these markets. With our acquisition of Frutarom in 2018 and the closing of the N&B Transaction in February 2021, each of which also had a significant presence in emerging markets, our business in these markets has meaningfully grown. In addition to the currency and international risks described below, our operations in these markets may be subject to a variety of other risks. Emerging markets typically have a consumer base with limited or fluctuating disposable income and customer demand in these markets may fluctuate accordingly. As a result, decrease in customer demand in emerging markets may have an adverse effect on our ability to execute our growth strategy.
Further, there is no assurance that our existing products, variants of our existing products or new products that we make, manufacture, distribute or sell will be accepted or be successful in any particular developing or emerging market, due to local or global competition, product price, cultural differences, consumer preferences or otherwise. In addition, emerging markets may have weak legal systems which may affect our ability to enforce our intellectual property and contractual rights, exchange
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controls, unstable governments and privatization or other government actions that may affect taxes, subsidies and incentive programs and the flow of goods and currency. In conducting our business, we move products from one country to another and may provide services in one country from a subsidiary located in another country. Accordingly, we are vulnerable to abrupt changes in trade, customs and tax regimes in these markets. If we are unable to expand our business in developing and emerging markets, effectively operate, or manage the risks associated with operating in these markets, or achieve the return on capital we expect from our investments in these markets, our operating results and future growth could be adversely affected.
The impact of currency fluctuation or devaluation in the international markets in which we operate may negatively affect our results of operations.
We have significant operations outside the U.S., the results of which are reported in the local currency and then translated into U.S. dollars at applicable exchange rates for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. The exchange rates between these currencies and the U.S. dollar have fluctuated and will continue to do so in the future. For example, as of July 1, 2018, we concluded that Argentina’s economy is highly inflationary under US GAAP, as it has experienced cumulative inflation of approximately 100% or more over a three-year period. While our current operations in Argentina represent less than 3% of our consolidated net sales and less than 1% of our consolidated total assets, continuing inflation in Argentina could adversely affect our profitability in a specific period. Changes in exchange rates between these local currencies and the U.S. dollar will affect the recorded levels of sales, profitability, assets and/or liabilities. Additionally, volatility in currency exchange rates may adversely impact our financial condition, cash flows or liquidity. Although we employ a variety of techniques to mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations, including sourcing strategies and a limited number of foreign currency hedging activities, we cannot guarantee that such hedging and risk management strategies will be effective, and our results of operations could be adversely affected.
International economic, political, legal, compliance and business factors could negatively affect our financial statements, operations and growth.
We operate on a global basis, with manufacturing and sales facilities in or supply arrangements with companies based in the U.S., Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Greater Asia. During 2020, approximately 80% of our combined net sales were to customers outside the U.S. and we intend to continue expansion of our international operations. As a result, our business is increasingly exposed to risks inherent in international operations. These risks, which can vary substantially by location, include the following:
governmental laws, regulations and policies adopted to manage national economic and macroeconomic conditions, such as increases in taxes, austerity measures that may impact consumer spending, monetary policies that may impact inflation rates, employment regulations, currency fluctuations or controls and sustainability of resources;
changes in environmental, health and safety regulations, such as regulations related to biodiversity or the continued implementation and evolution of the European Union’s REACH regulations and similar regulations that are being evaluated and adopted in other markets, and the burdens and costs of our compliance with such regulations which may differ significantly across jurisdictions;
increased environmental, health and safety regulations or the loss of necessary environmental permits in certain countries;
increased product labeling and ingredient prohibitions in specific markets that may impact consumer preference products costs and/or customer acceptance;
the imposition of or changes in customs, tariffs, quotas, trade barriers, other trade protection measures, import or export licensing requirements, and sanctions on trade with certain countries, imposed by the U.S. or other countries, which could adversely affect our cost or ability to import raw materials or export our products to surrounding markets;
risks and costs arising from our ability to cater to local demand and customer preferences, language and cultural differences;
changes in the laws and policies that govern foreign investment in the countries in which we operate, including the risk of expropriation or nationalization, the costs and ability to repatriate the profit that we generate in these countries;
risks and costs associated with complying with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws;
risks and costs associated with political and economic instability, bribery and corruption, anti-American sentiment, and social and ethnic unrest in the countries in which we operate;
difficulty in recruiting and retaining trained local personnel;
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natural disasters, global or local health crisis, pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), epidemics or international conflicts, including terrorist acts, political crisis, national and regional labor strikes in the countries in which we operate, which could endanger our personnel, interrupt our operations or adversely affect the demand for our products, the results of certain regions or our global supply chain; or
the risks of operating in developing or emerging markets in which there are significant uncertainties regarding the interpretation, application and enforceability of laws and regulations and the enforceability of contract rights and intellectual property rights.
The occurrence of any one or more of these factors could increase our costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
Economic uncertainty may adversely affect demand for our products which may have a negative impact on our operating results and future growth.
Our products are a subset of a wide assortment of global consumer products throughout the world. Historically, demand for consumer products using our products, such as flavors and fragrance compounds and ingredients, was stimulated and broadened by changing social habits and consumer needs, population growth, an expanding global middle-class and general economic growth, especially in emerging markets. However, impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in increased volatility and economic uncertainty, and may lead to significant negative impacts on consumer spending, demand for our products, the ability for our customers to pay or our suppliers to supply, our financial condition and the financial condition of our suppliers or customers. It is currently anticipated that these challenging economic uncertainties will continue to affect certain of our markets during 2021 which could adversely affect our sales, profitability and overall operating results. Even prior to COVID-19, the global economy had experienced significant recessionary pressures and declines in consumer confidence and economic growth. The predictions surrounding the global recessionary economic environment has, and may in the near future, increase unemployment and underemployment, decrease salaries and wage rates, increase inflation or result in other market-wide cost pressures that will adversely affect demand for consumer products in both developed and emerging markets. In addition, growth rates in the emerging markets have moderated from previous levels. Reduced consumer spending may cause changes in our customer orders including reduced demand for our flavors and fragrances compounds or ingredients, or order cancellations. The timing of placing of orders and the amounts of these orders are generally at our customers’ discretion. Customers may cancel, reduce or postpone orders with us on relatively short notice. Significant cancellations, reductions or delays in orders by customers could affect our quarterly results.
Increasing awareness of health and wellness are driving changes in the consumer products industry, and if we are unable to react in a timely and cost-effective manner, our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We must continually anticipate and react, in a timely and cost-effective manner, to changes in consumer preferences and demands, including changes in demand driven by increasing awareness of health and wellness and demands for transparency or cleaner labels with respect to product ingredients by consumers and regulators. Consumers, especially in developed economies such as the U.S. and Western Europe, are rapidly shifting away from products containing artificial ingredients to all-natural, healthier alternatives. In addition, there has been a growing demand by consumers, non-governmental organizations and, to a lesser extent, governmental agencies to provide more transparency in product labeling and our customers have been taking steps to address this demand, including by voluntarily providing product-specific ingredients disclosure. These two trends could affect the types and volumes of our ingredients and compounds that our customers include in their consumer product offerings and, therefore, affect the demand for our products. If we are unable to react to or anticipate these trends in a timely and cost-effective manner, our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We are subject to increasing customer, consumer, shareholder and regulatory focus on sustainability, which may result in additional costs in order to meet new requirements or integrate the N&B Business and Frutarom with our sustainability practices.
Federal, state, local and foreign governments, our customers and consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental and other sustainability issues. In response, we have committed to a sustainability strategy through which we continue to assess our combined environmental footprint following the N&B Transaction and the Frutarom acquisition, with the intent of identifying synergies, gaps and opportunities in our sustainability efforts.
As part of our assessment so far, we have been upgrading Frutarom’s sustainability practices to better align them to our legacy IFF practices and we have begun integrating the N&B Business’ practices, both of which may require significant costs and time to implement. Our assessment may reveal additional gaps between the N&B Business or Frutarom operations on the one hand and our sustainability practices and goals on the other hand, which may require significant costs to remedy.
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Despite our efforts, the increased focus on sustainability may result in new regulations and customer requirements that could affect us. These could cause us to incur additional direct costs or to make changes to our operations in order to comply with any new regulations and customer requirements. We could also lose revenue if our customers divert business from us because we have not complied with their sustainability requirements or if we are not successful in integrating N&B Business’ and Frutarom’s sustainability metrics. These potential costs, changes and loss of revenue could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our performance may be adversely impacted if we are not successful in managing our inventory and/or working capital balances.
We evaluate our inventory balances of materials based on shelf life, expected sourcing levels, known uses and anticipated demand based on forecasted customer order activity and changes in our product/sales mix. Efficient inventory management is a key component of our business success, financial returns and profitability. To be successful, we must maintain sufficient inventory levels and an appropriate product/sales mix to meet our customers’ demands, without allowing those levels to increase to such an extent that the costs associated with storing and holding other inventory adversely impact our financial results. If our buying decisions do not accurately predict sourcing levels, customer trends or our expectations about customer needs are inaccurate, we may have to take unanticipated markdowns or impairment charges to dispose of the excess or obsolete inventory, which can adversely impact our financial results. Additionally, we believe excess inventory levels of raw materials with a short shelf life in our manufacturing facilities subjects us to the risk of increased inventory shrinkage. If we are not successful in managing our inventory balances and shrinkage, our results of and cash flows from operations may be negatively affected.
We sell certain accounts receivable on a non-recourse basis to unrelated financial institutions under “factoring” agreements that are sponsored, solely and individually, by certain customers. The cost of participating in these programs was immaterial to our results in all periods. Should we choose not to participate, or if these programs were no longer available, it could reduce our cash flows from operations in the period in which the arrangement ends.
Any impairment of our tangible or intangible long-lived assets, including goodwill, may adversely impact our profitability.
A significant portion of our assets consists of long-lived assets, including tangible assets such as our manufacturing facilities, and intangible assets, including goodwill.
As a result of our recent acquisitions, including the 2018 acquisition of Frutarom, as of December 31, 2020, we had recorded approximately $8.3 billion of intangible assets and goodwill, including $4.3 billion of goodwill associated with the acquisition of Frutarom. The N&B Transaction will add approximately $20.5 billion of goodwill and other intangible assets to IFF’s consolidated balance sheet. Our results of operations and financial position in future periods could be negatively impacted should future impairments of our long-lived assets, including intangible assets or goodwill occur.
At least annually, we assess both goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. We test for impairment by comparing the estimated fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value, we record an impairment charge based on the difference of the two. Intangible assets with finite lives are also tested for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Such events and changes in circumstances could include a sustained decrease in our market capitalization, increased competition or unexpected loss of market share, increased input costs beyond projections (for example due to regulatory or industry changes), our inability to recognize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, unexpected business disruptions (for example due to a natural disaster, public health crises, such as pandemics or epidemics or loss of a customer, supplier, or other significant business relationship), acts by governments and courts, operating results falling short of projections, or significant adverse changes in the markets in which we operate.
Fair value determinations require considerable judgment and are sensitive to changes in underlying assumptions, estimates and market factors. Estimating the fair value of reporting units requires us to make assumptions and estimates regarding our business performance, future plans, future annual net cash flows, income tax considerations, discount rates, growth rates, and based on industry, economic, regulatory conditions and other market factors. Moreover, management will make significant accounting judgments and estimates for the application of acquisition accounting under GAAP, and the underlying valuation models. IFF’s business, operating results and financial condition could be materially and adversely impacted in future periods if IFF’s accounting judgments and estimates related to these models prove to be inaccurate.
To the extent any of our acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Frutarom and the N&B Business, do not perform as anticipated and our underlying assumptions and estimates related to their fair value determination are not met, whether due to internal or external factors, the value of such assets may be negatively affected and we may be required to record impairment charges.
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Our funding obligations for our pension and postretirement plans could adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.
The funding obligations for our pension plans are impacted by the performance of the financial markets, particularly the equity markets and interest rates. Funding obligations are determined under government regulations and are measured each year based on the value of assets and liabilities on a specific date. If the financial markets do not provide the long-term returns that are expected under the governmental funding calculations, we could be required to make larger contributions. The equity markets can be very volatile, and therefore our estimate of future contribution requirements can change dramatically in relatively short periods of time. Similarly, changes in interest rates and legislation enacted by governmental authorities can impact the timing and amounts of contribution requirements. An adverse change in the funded status of the plans could significantly increase our required contributions in the future and adversely impact our liquidity.
Assumptions used in determining projected benefit obligations and the fair value of plan assets for our pension and other postretirement benefit plans are determined by us in consultation with outside consultants and advisors. In the event that we determine that changes are warranted in the assumptions used, such as the discount rate, expected long-term rate of return on assets, or expected health care costs, our future pension and postretirement benefit expenses could increase or decrease. Due to changing market conditions or changes in the participant population, the assumptions that we use may differ from actual results, which could have a significant impact on our pension and postretirement liabilities and related costs and funding requirements.
The expected phase out of the London Interbank Office Rate (“LIBOR”) could impact the interest rates paid on our variable rate indebtedness and cause our interest expense to increase.
In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. Currently there is no definitive information regarding the future utilization of LIBOR or of any particular replacement rate. Borrowings under our revolving credit and term loan facilities are at variable interest rates based on LIBOR. Although our revolving credit and term loan facilities include mechanics to facilitate the adoption by us and our lenders of an alternative benchmark rate in place of LIBOR, no assurance can be made that such alternative rate will perform in a manner similar to LIBOR and may result in interest rates that are higher or lower than those that would have resulted had LIBOR remained in effect.
Our business may be negatively impacted as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
We currently manufacture goods in the United Kingdom for distribution in the European Union and vice-versa and therefore may be adversely affected as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (“Brexit”) in 2020. The impact of the withdrawal could, among other outcomes, exacerbate the disruption of the free movement of goods, services and people between the United Kingdom and the European Union, undermine bilateral cooperation in key geographic areas and significantly disrupt trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union or other nations as the United Kingdom pursues independent trade relations. In addition, Brexit has caused legal uncertainty, which could last indefinitely, and may potentially create divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which European Union laws to replace or replicate. Given the lack of comparable precedent, it is unclear what the financial, trade and legal implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union will be and how the withdrawal will affect us. Adverse consequences concerning Brexit or the European Union could include deterioration in global economic conditions, instability in global financial markets, political uncertainty, volatility in currency exchange rates, or adverse changes in the cross-border agreements currently in place, any of which could have an adverse impact on our financial results in the future.
Risks Related to Legal and Regulatory Considerations
If we are unable to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, including those regarding product safety, quality, efficacy and environmental impact, we could incur significant costs and suffer reputational harm which could adversely affect results of operations.
The development, manufacture and sale of our products are subject to various regulatory requirements in each of the countries in which our products are developed, manufactured and sold. In addition, we are subject to product safety and compliance requirements established by governments, non-governmental organizations, including industry or similar oversight bodies, or contractually by our customers, including requirements concerning product safety, quality and efficacy, environmental impacts (including packaging, energy and water use and waste management) and other sustainability or similar issues. Changes to regulations or the implementation of additional regulations, especially in certain highly regulated markets served by us following the N&B Transaction, such as regulatory modernization of food safety laws and evolving standards and regulations affecting pharmaceutical excipients, microbials, or in reaction to new or next-generation technologies, including advances in protein engineering, gene editing and gene mapping, or novel uses of existing technologies has required and may in the future require us to reduce or remove certain ingredients, substances or processing aids from the product portfolio and may result in significant costs or capital expenditures or require changes in business practice that could result in reduced margins or profitability. We use a variety of strategies, methodologies and tools to minimize the likelihood of product or process non-
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compliance with these regulations and standards by (i) monitoring regulatory developments and current product standards, (ii) assessing relative risks in our supply chain, (iii) monitoring internal and external performance and (iv) testing raw materials and finished goods. As concerns regarding safety, quality and environmental impact become more pressing, we may see new, more restrictive regulations adopted that impact our products. For example, the European Chemicals Agency has proposed that the European Commission adopt a ban on microplastics, including those found in personal care items, detergents and cosmetics, to reduce plastics pollution. If this ban is adopted, we will be required to modify our products and/or innovate new solutions to replace microplastics in our products. If we are unable to adapt to these new regulations or standards in a cost effective and timely manner, we may lose business to competitors who are able to provide compliant products.
Gaps in our operational processes or those of our suppliers or distributors can result in products that do not meet our quality control or industry standards or fail to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements, which in turn can result in finished consumer goods that do not comply with applicable standards and requirements. Products that are mislabeled, contaminated or damaged could result in a regulatory non-compliance event or even a product recall by the FDA or a similar foreign agency. Our contracts often require us to indemnify our customers for the costs associated with a product non-compliance event, including penalties, costs and settlements arising from litigation, remediation costs or loss of sales. As our flavors and fragrance compounds and ingredients and our nutrition and health, food and beverage and pharma offerings are used in many products intended for human use or consumption, these consequences would be exacerbated if we or our customer did not identify the defect before the product reaches the consumer and there was a resulting impact at the consumer level. Such a result could lead to potentially large-scale adverse publicity, negative effects on consumer’s health, recalls and potential litigation, fines, penalties, sanctions or other regulatory actions. In addition, if we do not have adequate insurance or contractual indemnification from suppliers or other third parties, or if insurance or indemnification is not available, the liability relating to product or possible third-party claims arising from mislabeled, contaminated or damaged products could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Furthermore, adverse publicity about our products, or our customers’ products that contain our ingredients, including concerns about product safety or similar issues, whether real or perceived, could harm our reputation and result in an immediate adverse effect on our sales and customer relationships, as well as require us to utilize significant resources to rebuild our reputation.
Failure to comply with environmental protection laws may cause us to close, relocate or operate one or more of our plants at reduced production levels, and expose us to civil or criminal liability, which could adversely affect our operating results and future growth.
Our business operations and properties procure, make use of, manufacture, sell, and distribute substances that are sometimes considered hazardous and are therefore subject to extensive and increasingly stringent federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations pertaining to protection of the environment, including air emissions, sewage discharges, the use of hazardous materials, waste disposal practices and clean-up of existing environmental contamination.
Failure to comply with these laws and regulations or any future changes to them may result in significant consequences to us, including the need to close or relocate one or more of our production facilities, administrative, civil and criminal penalties, fines, sanctions, litigation, costly remediation measures, liability for damages and negative publicity. If we are unable to meet production requirements, we can lose customer orders, which can adversely affect our future growth or we may be required to make incremental capital investments to ensure supply. For example, we recently completed negotiations with the Chinese government concerning the relocation of a second fragrance facility in China. Idling of facilities or production modifications has caused or may cause customers to seek alternate suppliers due to concerns regarding supply interruptions and these customers may not return or may order at reduced levels even once issues are remediated. If these non-compliance issues reoccur in China or occur or in any other jurisdiction, we may lose business and may be required to incur capital spending above previous expectations, close a plant, or operate a plant at significantly reduced production levels on a permanent basis, and our operating results and cash flows from operations may be adversely affected.
We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or similar U.S. or foreign anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
The global nature of our business, the significance of our international revenue and our focus on emerging markets create various domestic and local regulatory challenges and subject us to risks associated with our international operations. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and similar anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations in other countries generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business or for other commercial advantage. In addition, U.S. public companies are required to maintain records that accurately and fairly represent their transactions and have an adequate system of internal accounting controls. Under the FCPA, U.S. companies may be held liable for the corrupt actions taken by directors, officers, employees, agents, or other strategic or local partners or representatives. As such, if we or our intermediaries fail to comply with the requirements of the FCPA or similar legislation, governmental authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere could seek to impose substantial civil and/or criminal fines and penalties which could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results and financial condition.
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We operate or may pursue opportunities in some jurisdictions, such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Africa, that pose potentially elevated risks of fraud or corruption or increased risk of internal control issues. In certain jurisdictions, compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. From time to time, we have conducted and will conduct internal investigations of the relevant facts and circumstances, control testing and compliance reviews, and take remedial actions, when appropriate, to help ensure that we are in compliance with applicable corruption and similar laws and regulations. For example, in August 2019, during the integration of Frutarom, we were made aware of allegations that two Frutarom businesses operating principally in Russia and Ukraine made certain improper payments, including to representatives of a number of customers. Our investigation substantiated the allegations that improper payments to representatives of customers were made and that key members of Frutarom’s senior management at the time were aware of such payments. We did not uncover any evidence suggesting that such payments had any connection to the U.S. In addition, Frutarom grew through rapid acquisition and, as part of our integration efforts, we have implemented our anti- corruption and similar policies throughout a number of those acquired companies, many of which were not previously subject to these U.S. laws.
Detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations of the FCPA or other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations is expensive, could consume significant time and attention of our senior management and could subject us to investigations and inquiries by governmental and other regulatory bodies. Any allegations of non- compliance with such laws and regulations could have a disruptive effect on our operations in such jurisdiction, including interruptions of business or loss of third-party relationships, which may negatively impact our results of operations or financial condition. Any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with such laws and regulations could expose us to severe criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, significant fines, termination of necessary licenses and permits, and penalties or other sanctions that may harm our business and reputation.
Defects, quality issues, inadequate disclosure or misuse with respect to the products and capabilities could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.
Defects in, misuse of, quality issues with respect to or inadequate disclosure of risks relating to our products, could lead to lost profits and other economic damage, property damage, personal injury or other liability resulting in third-party claims, criminal liability, significant costs, damage to our reputation and loss of business. Any of these factors could adversely affect our business, financial condition and our results of operations.
Our ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.
We rely on patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets to protect our intellectual property rights. We often rely on trade secrets to protect our proprietary fragrance and flavor formulations, as well as our manufacturing processes, extract methodologies, and processes for our nutrition, natural colors for food and natural antioxidants for food protection, as this does not require us to publicly file information regarding our intellectual property. From time to time, a third party may claim that we have infringed upon or misappropriated their intellectual property rights, or a third party may infringe upon or misappropriate our intellectual property rights. We could incur significant costs in connection with legal actions to assert our intellectual property rights against third parties or to defend ourselves from third-party assertions of invalidity, infringement, misappropriation or other claims. Any settlement or adverse judgment resulting from such litigation could require us to obtain a license to continue to use the intellectual property rights that are the subject of the claim, or otherwise restrict or prohibit our use of such intellectual property rights. Any required licensing fees may not be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all. For those intellectual property rights that are protected as trade secrets, this litigation could result in even higher costs, and potentially the loss of certain rights, since we would not have a perfected intellectual property right that precludes others from making, using or selling our products or processes. The ongoing trend among our customers towards more transparent labeling could further diminish our ability to effectively protect our proprietary flavor formulations.
We vigilantly protect our intellectual property rights, including trade secrets. We have designed and implemented internal controls intended to restrict access to and distribution of our respective intellectual property. Despite these precautions, our intellectual property is vulnerable to unauthorized access through employee error or actions, theft and cybersecurity incidents, and other security breaches. Protecting intellectual property related to biotechnology is particularly challenging because theft is difficult to detect and biotechnology can be self-replicating. Accordingly, the impact of such theft can be significant.
For intellectual property rights that we seek to protect through patents, we cannot be certain that these rights, if obtained, will not later be opposed, invalidated, or circumvented. In addition, even if such rights are obtained in the U.S., the laws of some of the other countries in which our products are or may be sold do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the US. If other parties were to infringe on our intellectual property rights, or if our intellectual property rights were the subject of unauthorized access leading to competitive pressure or if a third party successfully asserted that we had infringed on their intellectual property rights, it could materially and adversely affect our future results of operations by, among other things, (i) being required to cease production and marketing or reducing the price that we could obtain in the marketplace for products which are based on such rights, (ii) increasing the royalty or other fees that we may be required to pay
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in connection with such rights, (iii) limiting the volume, if any, of such products that we can sell or (iv) resulting in significant litigation costs and potential liability.
Our results of operations may be negatively impacted by the outcome of uncertainties related to litigation.
From time to time we are involved in a number of legal claims, regulatory investigations and litigation, including claims related to intellectual property, product liability, environmental matters and indirect taxes. For instance, product liability claims may arise due to the fact that we supply flavors and fragrances to the food and beverage, functional food, pharma/nutraceutical and personal care industries. Our manufacturing and other facilities may expose us to environmental claims and regulatory investigations. In addition, as we expand our product offering into functional food, nutraceuticals, and natural antioxidants, we may also be subject to claims of false or deceptive advertising claims in the U.S., Europe and other foreign jurisdictions in which we offer these types of products. These claims can arise as a result of function claims, health claims, nutrient content claims and other claims that impermissibly suggest therapeutic benefits for certain foods or food components. The cost of defending these claims or our obligations for direct damages and indemnification if we were found liable could adversely affect our results of operations.
As a result of the N&B Transaction and the Frutarom acquisition, we assumed legal or environmental claims, regulatory investigations, and litigation, including product liability, patent infringement, commercial litigation and other actions, and we may become involved in additional actions in the future arising from the acquired operations. Specifically, as the N&B Business and Frutarom had a significant number of facilities located globally and a large number of customers, our exposure to legal claims, regulatory and environmental investigations and litigation may increase. This could result in an increase in our cost for defense or settlement of claims or indemnification obligations if we were to be found liable in excess of our historical experience.
In addition, we are also the subject of a putative shareholder class action lawsuit filed in August 2019 after we disclosed that preliminary results of investigations indicated that Frutarom businesses operating principally in Russia and Ukraine had made improper payments to representatives of customers.
Our insurance may not be adequate to protect us from all material expenses related to pending and future claims and our current levels of insurance may not be available in the future at commercially reasonable prices. Any of these factors could adversely affect our profitability and results of operations.
Changes in our tax rates, the adoption of new U.S. or international tax legislation, or changes in existing tax laws could expose us to additional tax liabilities that may affect our future results.
We are subject to taxes in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Our future effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in liabilities for uncertain tax positions, cost of repatriations or changes in tax laws or their interpretation. Any of these changes could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
We have and will continue to implement transfer pricing policies among our various operations located in different countries. These transfer pricing policies are a significant component of the management and compliance of our operations across international boundaries and overall financial results. Many countries routinely examine transfer pricing policies of taxpayers subject to their jurisdiction, challenge transfer pricing policies aggressively where there is potential non-compliance and impose significant interest charges and penalties where non-compliance is determined. However, governmental authorities could challenge these policies more aggressively in the future and, if challenged, we may not prevail. We could suffer significant costs related to one or more challenges to our transfer pricing policies.
We are subject to the continual examination of our income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service, state tax authorities and foreign tax authorities in those countries in which we operate, and we may be subject to assessments or audits in the future in any of the countries in which we operate. The final determination of tax audits and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals, and while we do not believe the results that follow would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, such results could have a material effect on our income tax provision, net income or cash flows in the period or periods in which that determination is made.
In addition, a number of international legislative and regulatory bodies have proposed legislation and begun investigations of the tax practices of multi-national companies and, in the European Union, the tax policies of certain European Union member states. One of these efforts has been led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international association of 34 countries including the U.S., which has finalized recommendations to revise corporate tax, transfer pricing, and tax treaty provisions in member countries. Since 2013, the European Commission (“EC”) has been investigating tax rulings granted by tax authorities in a number of European Union member states with respect to specific multi-national corporations to determine whether such rulings comply with European Union rules on state aid, as well as more recent investigations of the tax regimes of certain European Union member states. Under European Union law, selective tax advantages for particular taxpayers that are not sufficiently grounded in economic realities may constitute impermissible state aid. If the EC determines that a tax
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ruling or tax regime violates the state aid restrictions, the tax authorities of the affected European Union member state may be required to collect back taxes for the period of time covered by the ruling. In late 2015 and early 2016, the EC declared that tax rulings, related to other companies, by tax authorities in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium did not comply with the European Union state aid restrictions. If the EC or tax authorities in other jurisdictions were to successfully challenge tax rulings applicable to us in any of the member states in which we are subject to taxation or our internal intercompany arrangements, we could be exposed to increased tax liabilities.
In December 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) that significantly revised the U.S. tax code effective January 1, 2018 by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate from a top marginal rate of 35% to a flat 21%, limiting deductibility of interest expense and performance based incentive compensation, transitioning to a territorial system and creating new taxes associated with global operations. The Tax Act impacted our consolidated results of operations during 2020 and is expected to continue to impact our consolidated results of operations in future periods. In future periods, we expect that our effective tax rate will be impacted by the lower U.S. corporate tax rate that will initially be offset by the elimination of the deductibility of performance-based incentive compensation, and other provisions of the Tax Act that may impact us prospectively. However, the ultimate impact of the Tax Act will depend on additional regulatory or accounting guidance that may be issued with respect to the Tax Act and any operating and structural changes that we may undertake to permit us to benefit from the new, lower U.S. tax rate prospectively. This could adversely affect our results of operations.
The N&B Transaction could result in significant tax liability, and we may be obligated to indemnify DuPont for any such tax liability imposed on DuPont.
The completion of the N&B Transaction was conditioned upon the receipt by DuPont of an opinion that the transaction generally will qualify as a tax-free reorganization. The tax opinion was based upon various factual representations and assumptions, as well as certain undertakings made by DuPont, us and N&B. If any of those factual representations or assumptions were untrue or incomplete in any material respect, any undertaking was or is not complied with, or the facts upon which the opinion was based are materially different from the facts at the closing of the N&B Transaction, the transaction may not qualify (in whole or part) for tax-free treatment.
The N&B spin-off and certain aspects of the pre-spin-off internal reorganizations to form N&B could be taxable to DuPont if N&B or we were to engage in a “Spinco Tainting Act” (as defined in the Tax Matters Agreement, by and among DuPont, N&B and IFF, a form of which is attached to IFF’s registration statement on Form S-4 (Registration Number 333-238072)). A Spinco Tainting Act is generally any action (or inaction) within our control or under the control of N&B or their affiliates, any event involving our common stock or the common stock of N&B or any assets of N&B or its subsidiaries, or any breach by N&B or any of its subsidiaries of any factual representations, assumptions, or undertakings made by it, in each case, that would affect the non-recognition treatment of the spin-off and internal reorganizations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as described above. Under the Tax Matters Agreement, we and N&B will be required to indemnify DuPont for any taxes resulting from a Spinco Tainting Act. If we or N&B were required to indemnify DuPont pursuant to the Tax Matters Agreement as described above, this indemnification obligation may be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on us, including with respect to its financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to comply with data protection laws in the U.S. and abroad, we may be subject to fines, penalties and other costs.
Legal requirements relating to the collection, storage, handling, use, disclosure, transfer, and security of personal data continue to evolve, and regulatory scrutiny in this area is increasing around the world. This regulatory environment is increasingly challenging and may present material obligations and risks to our business, including significantly expanded compliance burdens, restrictions on transfer of personal data, costs and enforcement risks. For example, the European Union’s GDPR, which became effective in May 2018, greatly increases the jurisdictional reach of EU law and adds a broad array of requirements related to personal data, including individual notice and opt-out preferences, restrictions on and requirements for transfer of personal data and the public disclosure of significant data breaches. Additionally, violations of the GDPR can result in fines of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue. Other governments have enacted or are enacting similar data protection laws, including data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements, restrictions on use of personal data, as well as the uncertain interpretation and enforcement of laws, impose significant costs and regulatory risks that are likely to increase over time. Our failure to comply with these evolving regulations could expose us to fines, sanctions, penalties and other costs that could harm our reputation and adversely impact our financial results.

ITEM 1B.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
None.
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ITEM 2.PROPERTIES.
IFF principal properties as of December 31, 2020, are as follows:
LocationOperation
United States
Carrollton, TX(1)
Production of flavor compounds; flavor laboratories.
Hazlet, NJ
Production of fragrance compounds.
Jacksonville, FL
Production of fragrance ingredients.
New York, NY(1)
Fragrance laboratories; corporate headquarters.
South Brunswick, NJ(1)
Production of flavor compounds and ingredients; flavor laboratories.
Holmdel, NJ(1)
Research and development center.
Union Beach, NJResearch and development center.
Philadelphia, PA
Production of flavor compounds; flavor laboratories.
France
Neuilly(1)
Fragrance laboratories.
GrasseProduction of fragrance compounds and cosmetic ingredients.
Great Britain
HaverhillProduction of flavor compounds and ingredients, and fragrance ingredients; flavor laboratories.
Netherlands
HilversumFlavor and fragrance laboratories.
TilburgProduction of flavor compounds and ingredients, and fragrance compounds.
Spain
BenicarlóProduction of fragrance ingredients.
Argentina
GarinProduction of flavor and fragrance compounds; flavor and fragrance laboratories.
Brazil
Rio de JaneiroProduction of fragrance compounds.
TaubateProduction of flavor compounds and ingredients.
Mexico
TlalnepantlaProduction of flavor and fragrance compounds; flavor and fragrance laboratories.
India
Mumbai(2)
Flavor and fragrance laboratories.
Sri CityProduction of flavor and fragrance compounds and laboratories.
Australia
DandenongProduction of flavor compounds and flavor ingredients.
China
Guangzhou(2)
Production of fragrance compounds and flavor compounds.
Shanghai(1)(2)
Flavor and fragrance laboratories.
Zhangjiagang(2)
Production of flavor compounds.
Yungpu(2)
Production of flavor compounds.
Jiande(2)
Production of fragrance ingredients.
Indonesia
JakartaProduction of flavor compounds and ingredients; flavor and fragrance laboratories.
Thailand
Bangkok(1)
Production of savory solutions.
Japan
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LocationOperation
GotembaProduction of flavor compounds.
Singapore
Jurong(1)
Production of flavor and fragrance compounds.
Science Park(1)
Flavor and fragrance laboratories.
Turkey
Gebze(1)
Production of flavor compounds.
Slovenia
Skofja(1)
Production of flavor, food systems and savory powders.
Israel
Kibbutz Givat-Oz(1)(3)
Production of fragrance ingredients.
Midgal H'aemeq(1)
Production of health products.
Haifa(1)
Production of flavor compounds.
Russia
Moscow(1)
Production of savory solutions.
Germany
StadthagenProduction of health products.
EmmerichProduction of food systems.
SittensenProduction of savory solutions.
FreilassingProduction of savory solutions.
_______________________
(1)Leased.
(2)Land is leased and building, machinery and equipment are owned.
(3)We have a 93.4% interest in the subsidiary company that owns this facility.
The IFF principal executive offices and New York laboratory facilities are located at 521 West 57th Street, New York City.
The N&B Business’s corporate headquarters is currently located in Wilmington, Delaware. Its manufacturing, processing, marketing and research and development facilities, as well as regional purchasing offices and distribution centers, are located throughout the world.
The N&B Business’s manufacturing sites, innovation centers and principal offices are located worldwide with about 20 sites in Asia Pacific, 47 in Europe, Africa and Middle East, 13 in Latin America and 25 in the United States and Canada.
Our principal sites include facilities which, in the opinion of its management, are suitable and adequate for their use and have sufficient capacity for its current business needs and expected near-term growth.

ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
We are subject to various claims and legal actions in the ordinary course of our business.
Litigation Matters
On August 12, 2019, Marc Jansen filed a putative securities class action against IFF, its Chairman and CEO, and its then-CFO, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit was filed after IFF disclosed that preliminary results of investigations indicated that Frutarom businesses operating principally in Russia and Ukraine had made improper payments to representatives of customers. On December 26, 2019, the Court appointed a group of six investment funds as lead plaintiff and Pomerantz LLP as lead counsel. On March 16, 2020, lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which added Frutarom and certain former officers of Frutarom as defendants. The amended complaint alleges, among other things, that defendants made materially false and misleading statements or omissions concerning IFF’s acquisition of Frutarom, the integration of the two companies, and the companies’ financial reporting and results. The amended complaint asserts claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5, and under the Israeli Securities Act-1968, against all defendants, and under Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the individual defendants, on behalf of a putative class of persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired IFF securities on the New York Stock Exchange between May 7, 2018 and August 12, 2019 and persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired IFF securities on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange between October 9, 2018 and August 12, 2019. The amended complaint seeks an
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award of unspecified compensatory damages, costs, and expenses. IFF, its officers, and Frutarom filed a motion to dismiss the case on June 26, 2020.
Two motions to approve securities class actions were filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, Israel, in August 2019, similarly alleging, among other things, false and misleading statements largely in connection with IFF’s acquisition of Frutarom and the above-mentioned improper payments. One motion ("Borg") asserts claims under the U.S. federal securities laws against IFF, its Chairman and CEO, and its former CFO. On November 8, 2020, IFF and its officers filed their response to the Borg motion. The other motion ("Oman") (following an initial amendment) asserted claims under the Israeli Securities Act-1968 against IFF, its Chairman and CEO, and its former CFO, and against Frutarom and certain former Frutarom officers and directors, as well as claims under the Israeli Companies Act-1999 against certain former Frutarom officers and directors. On October 4, 2020, the Oman plaintiff filed a motion to remove IFF and its officers from the motion and to add factual allegations from the U.S. amended complaint. Responses to the motion to amend the Oman motion were filed during November 2020. The court granted the motion to amend the Oman motion on February 17, 2021.
On October 29, 2019, IFF and Frutarom filed a claim in the Tel Aviv District Court, Israel, against Ori Yehudai, the former President and CEO of Frutarom, and against certain former directors of Frutarom, challenging the bonus of US $20 million granted to Yehudai in 2018. IFF and Frutarom allege, among other things, that Yehudai was not entitled to receive the bonus because he breached his fiduciary duty by, among other things, knowing of the above-mentioned improper payments and failing to prevent them from being made. The parties agreed, pursuant to the court’s recommendation, to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation, which is still ongoing, during which the proceedings relating to this claim are stayed.
On March 11, 2020, an IFF shareholder filed a motion to approve a class action in Israel against, among others, Frutarom, Yehudai, and Frutarom’s former board of directors, alleging that former minority shareholders of Frutarom were harmed as a result of the US $20 million bonus paid to Yehudai. The parties to this motion agreed to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation to take place regarding the aforesaid claim against Yehudai, which as noted is still ongoing, during which the proceedings relating to this motion are stayed.
Investigation
On June 3, 2020, the Israel Police’s National Fraud Investigation Unit and the Israeli Securities Authority commenced an investigation into Frutarom and certain of its former executives, based on suspected bribery of foreign officials, money laundering, and violations of the Israeli Securities Act-1968. The National Fraud Investigation Unit and the Israeli Securities Authority have provided IFF and Frutarom with various orders. IFF is working to ensure compliance with such orders, all in accordance with, and subject to, Israeli law.

ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.
Not applicable.

PART II 
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
Market Information.
Our common stock is principally traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "IFF".
Approximate Number of Equity Security Holders.
Title of ClassNumber of shareholders of record as of February 15, 2021
Common stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per share
3,865

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
None.
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Performance Graph.
The following graph compares a shareholder’s cumulative total return for the last five fiscal years as if such amounts had been invested in: (i) our common stock; (ii) the stocks included in the S&P 500 Index; and (iii) a customized Peer Group. The graph is based on historical stock prices and measures total shareholder return, which takes into account both changes in stock price and dividends. The total return assumes that dividends were reinvested daily and is based on a $100 investment on December 31, 2015.

iff-20201231_g1.jpg
SOURCE: S&P Capital IQ
Due to the international scope and breadth of our business, we believe that a Peer Group comprising international public companies, which are representative of the customer group to which we sell our products, is the most appropriate group against which to compare shareholder returns. See the table below for the list of companies included in our Peer Group.
Peer Group Companies 
Campbell Soup CompanyKellogg Company
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
The Clorox CompanyMcCormick & Company, Incorporated
The Coca-Cola CompanyMcDonald’s Corporation
Colgate-Palmolive CompanyNestle SA
Conagra Brands, Inc.PepsiCo, Inc.
Edgewell Personal Care Company(1)
The Procter & Gamble Company
General Mills, Inc.Unilever N.V.
The Hershey CompanyYUM! Brands, Inc.
Hormel Foods CorporationSymrise AG
Givaudan SA
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(1)Edgewell Personal Care has been included starting from July 1, 2015 when it spun off from Energizer Holdings.

ITEM 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
QUARTERLY FINANCIAL DATA
(UNAUDITED)
This data should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto, and with Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
(DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)First QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth QuarterTotal Year
Net Sales$1,347,317 $1,198,773 $1,268,076 $1,270,073 $5,084,239 
Gross Profit*
565,867 481,842 524,427 513,730 2,085,866 
Income before taxes153,508 103,065 105,500 79,298 441,371 
Net income127,211 87,366 86,231 66,564 367,372 
Net income attributable to IFF stockholders*
124,607 86,204 84,828 67,589 363,228 
Net income per share — basic*
1.16 0.75 0.76 0.57 3.25 
Net income per share — diluted*
1.15 0.74 0.75 0.57 3.21 
Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019
(DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)First QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth QuarterTotal Year
Net Sales$1,297,402 $1,291,568 $1,267,345 $1,283,769 $5,140,084 
Gross Profit*
531,259 546,239 533,088 502,162 2,112,748 
Income before taxes134,576 169,481 156,866 96,529 557,452 
Net income111,214 138,869 129,807 80,378 460,268 
Net income attributable to IFF stockholders*
108,829 136,377 127,124 83,543 455,873 
Net income per share — basic*
0.97 1.21 1.15 0.71 4.05 
Net income per share — diluted*
0.96 1.20 1.13 0.70 4.00 
 _______________________
*The key variances quarter-over-quarter relate to the volume of restructuring, acquisition and integration related charges which are included in the total of Non-GAAP adjustments. Refer to the Non-GAAP reconciliation in Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for additional information.
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ITEM 7.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
(UNLESS INDICATED OTHERWISE, DOLLARS IN MILLIONS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)
Overview
Company Background
We are a leading innovator of sensory, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, health & wellness, home & personal care integrated solutions and ingredients that move the world. Our creative capabilities, global footprint, regulatory and technological know-how provide us a competitive advantage in meeting the demands of our global, regional and local customers around the world.
Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, we operated our business across two segments: Taste and Scent. Following the recent closing of the N&B Transaction, our business is organized in four business segments: Nourish, Scent, Health & Biosciences and Pharma Solutions.
As a leading creator of flavor offerings, we help our customers deliver on the promise of delicious and healthy foods and drinks that appeal to consumers. While we are a global leader, our Taste business operates regionally in nature, with different formulas that reflect local taste preferences. Consequently, we manage our Taste business geographically, creating products in our regional creative centers which allows us to satisfy local taste preferences, while also helping to ensure regulatory compliance and production standards.
Our global Scent business creates fragrance compounds and fragrance ingredients that are integral elements in the world’s finest perfumes and best-known household and personal care products. We believe our unique portfolio of natural and synthetic ingredients, global footprint, innovative technologies and know-how, deep consumer insight and customer intimacy make us a market leader in scent products.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Various policies and initiatives have been implemented around the world to reduce the global transmission of COVID-19, including the closure of non-essential businesses, reduced travel, the closure of retail establishments, the promotion of social distancing and remote working policies where appropriate. IFF has been designated an essential business in most locations given that both its Taste and Scent products are used in the manufacture of food products as well as the manufacture of a range of cleaning and hygiene products. Accordingly, although there continue to be minor disruptions, all of IFF’s manufacturing facilities remain open and continue to manufacture products.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious threat to the health of the world's population and certain countries and regions continue to suffer from outbreaks or have seen a recurrence of infections. Accordingly, the Company continues to take the threat from COVID-19 seriously even as the adverse financial impact of COVID-19 on the Company has lessened.
For 2020, revenue was largely flat but this overall performance reflected strength in Consumer Fragrances, offset by declines in Fine Fragrances and most Taste categories, especially those in the food service area. The impact that COVID-19 will have on our consolidated results of operations in 2021 remains uncertain. Based on the length and severity of COVID-19, we experience continued volatility as a result of retail and travel, consumer shopping and consumption behavior. We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of these potential impacts to our business, consolidated results of operations, segment results, liquidity and capital resources.
Although IFF does not currently anticipate any impairment charges related to COVID-19, the continuing effects of a prolonged pandemic could result in increased risk of asset write-downs and impairments, including, but not limited to, equity investments, goodwill and intangibles. Any of these events could potentially result in a material adverse impact on IFF’s business and results of operations.
Transaction with Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc.
On February 1, 2021, pursuant to the Merger Agreement with DuPont, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFF merged with and into the N&B Business. The shares issued in the Merger represented approximately 55.4% of the common stock of IFF on a fully diluted basis, after giving effect to the Merger, as of February 1, 2021. The N&B Business is an innovation-driven and customer-focused business that provides solutions for the global food and beverage, dietary supplements, home and personal care, energy, animal nutrition and pharma markets. The transaction was made in order to strengthen IFF's customer base and market presence, with an enhanced position in the food & beverage, home & personal care and health & wellness markets. See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information relating to the N&B Transaction.
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2020 Financial Performance Overview
For a reconciliation between reported and adjusted figures, please refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section.
Sales
Sales in 2020 decreased 1% on a reported basis and were flat on a currency neutral basis (which excludes the effects of changes in currency by restating exchange ratios in effect for the current year based on the currency of the underlying transaction). Scent sales increased 2% on a reported basis and 3% on a currency neutral basis. Taste sales decreased 3% on a reported basis and 2% on a currency neutral basis. The change in consolidated reported and currency neutral sales was driven by strength in Consumer Fragrances and a slight increase in Fragrance Ingredients, offset by volume reductions in most Taste product categories and Fine Fragrances. The year-on-year declines in sales of many product categories was partially due to travel and shelter-in-place restrictions, in certain regions, as a result of COVID-19. The additional week of sales, or a 53rd week, in 2019 also contributed to the year-on-year decline in sales.
Exchange rate variations had an unfavorable impact on net sales for 2020 of approximately 1%. The effect of exchange rates can vary by business and region, depending upon the mix of sales priced in U.S. dollars as compared to other currencies.
Our 25 largest customers accounted for approximately 39% of total sales in 2020. In 2020, no customer accounted for more than 10% of sales. A key factor for commercial success is our inclusion on strategic customers’ core supplier lists, which provides opportunities to expand and win new business. We are on the core supplier lists of a large majority of our global and strategic customers within Taste and Scent.
Gross Margin
Gross margin decreased to 41.0% in 2020 from 41.1% in 2019, principally driven by unfavorable price versus input costs and mix and sales volume reductions on existing business due, principally, to COVID-19, largely offset by the impact of productivity, integration and cross selling initiatives.
Operating profit
Operating profit decreased $98.8 million to $566.5 million (11.1% of sales) in 2020 compared to $665.3 million (12.9% of sales) in 2019. Foreign currency had a 2% unfavorable impact on operating profit in both the 2020 and 2019 periods. Adjusted operating profit was $729.7 million (14.4% of sales) for 2020, a decrease from $793.1 million (15.4% of sales) for 2019, principally driven by unfavorable price versus input costs and mix and sales volume reductions on existing business due, principally, to COVID-19, partially offset by the impact of productivity, integration and cross selling initiatives.
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Results of Operations
 Year Ended December 31,Change
(DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)2020201920182020 vs. 20192019 vs. 2018
Net sales$5,084,239 $5,140,084 $3,977,539 (1.1)