IRVING, Texas – Darling International Inc. acquired Vion Ingredients, a division of Vion Holding N.V. for €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in cash. The company expects to close the deal in January 2014.

Vion Ingredients is based in Son en Breugel, the Netherlands, and a leading developer and producer of specialty ingredients of animal origin for use in pharmaceuticals, food, feed, pet food, fertilizer and bioenergy. The firm consists of a global network of 58 facilities that cover all aspects of animal by-product processing under six brands — Rendac (rendering), Sonac (proteins, fats, edible fats and blood products), Ecoson (green power), Rousselot (gelatin), CTH (natural casings), and Best Hides (hides). Dirk Kloosterboer will continue as CEO of the company.

"Our vision of creating a sustainable ingredients business for a growing population is well on its way," said Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling International. "The combination of Vion Ingredients with Darling International will create the global leader in converting edible and inedible bio-nutrients streams into specialty products and ingredients for the food, feed, fuel, fertilizer and pharmaceutical industries. We are truly excited to have the opportunity to join forces with the Vion Ingredients management team and bring this transformational platform to our suppliers, customers and employees. Furthermore, this transaction will further diversify Darling International's revenue and EBITDA profile both geographically and from a product line point of view."

Financing for the transaction will come from a combination of bank debt, public debt and equity, according to Darling. The company expects the acquisition, excluding one-time charges, before synergies, and pro forma for financing to have an immediate impact on earnings per share. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and finalization of required employee consultations in the Netherlands.