By Pierre Bertrand


Shares of European flavor and fragrance companies Givaudan SA and Symrise AG fell Wednesday after the companies were named by British and Swiss regulators investigating possible antitrust violations in the sector.

The regulators also named Firmenich International SA and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. as part of the probes, which the Swiss Competition Commission said are looking into suspicions of collusion.

At 1123 GMT, Givaudan shares traded 3.1% lower to EUR2,714 and Symrise shares traded 3.1% lower to EUR92.58.

Shares in Royal DSM NV, which last year agreed to merge with Firmenich, fell 3.2% to EUR115.05.

The commission said it has indications that cartel law violations have taken place.

"There are suspicions that these undertakings have coordinated their pricing policy, prohibited their competitors from supplying certain customers and limited the production of certain fragrances," it said in statement.

On Tuesday, the European Commission said it carried out unannounced inspections in the fragrance sector in consultation with Swiss, U.K. and U.S. antitrust authorities.

Raids were carried out at dawn on Tuesday and each of the four regulators are carrying out their own investigation and will each provide their conclusions, Swiss Competition Commission Deputy Director Frank Stuessi said.

"We have been contacted by the EU cartel authorities in connection with an investigation into possible price fixing in the fragrance and aroma molecules sectors," a Symrise spokeswoman said to Dow Jones Newswires, adding that the company was cooperating with investigators.

Givaudan said it too was cooperating with investigators as part what it called "an industry-wide investigation by European and Swiss authorities," a company spokeswoman said.

"We are working closely with relevant authorities and cooperating with their industry investigation," International Flavors & Fragrances said when approached by Dow Jones Newswires.

Firmenich didn't reply to a request for comment.


Write to Pierre Bertrand at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2023 06:43 ET (11:43 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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