Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Corn Products International Inc., the fourth-largest maker of high-fructose corn syrup in North America, said it will change its name to Ingredion to better reflect the company’s range of food ingredients.
The change is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual meeting in May, Westchester, Illinois-based Corn Products said in a statement today.
The 2010 acquisition of National Starch for $1.3 billion gave the corn processor more ingredients that add flavor and texture to foods, reduced its reliance on the soft-drink industry and helped it expand in Europe and Asia. Corn Products makes dextrose used in low-calorie sweeteners and potato starches for baked goods and salad dressings.
Corn Products is now more comparable to food manufacturers such as Kraft Foods Inc. and shouldn’t be seen as a proxy for investing in the corn market because it doesn’t trade or transport the commodity, Aaron Hoffman, vice president for investor relations at the company, said in an interview.
High-fructose corn syrup’s share of the company’s sales has fallen to about 11 percent since the National Starch deal, down from as much as 18 percent previously, Hoffman said.
Taking corn out of the company’s name also may curb some of the volatility that, “rightly or wrongly,” comes from its association with the grain market, said Ann Gurkin, a Richmond, Virginia-based analyst for Davenport & Co.
“People have been very focused on corn crop sizes and prices and have seen a more volatile corn market,” Gurkin, who has a “buy” rating on the shares, said in an interview.
The largest North American high-fructose corn syrup makers are Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Tate & Lyle Plc, Hoffman said.
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