Ingredion Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to buy privately held Kerr Concentrates Inc. in a deal valued at about $100 million. Ingredion, a provider of ingredients to the food, beverage, drug and brewery industries, said the deal is expected to close within 30 business days. "Kerr transforms fruits and vegetables into natural ingredients that resonate with consumers and are increasingly in demand by customers," Ingredion Chief Executive Ilene Gordon said in a statement. Salem, Oregon-based Kerr's ingredients are used in a number of foods and beverages, including smoothies, juices, dairy products and baked goods, soups and dressings. The move comes amid a broad shift in consumer tastes that has seen a number of food companies strip out artificial additives, colorings and other ingredients from food, in favor of more natural, healthy ingredients. Ingredion has a market cap of $5.8 billion. Shares were not active in premarket trade, but are down 4% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 1%.
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