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Barentz bolsters UK presence with life-sciences acquisition

By Shane Starling , 22-Dec-2011
Last updated on 22-Dec-2011 at 16:35 GMT

Barentz bolsters UK presence with life-sciences acquisition

€650m Dutch supplier Barentz Europe has built on its ever-expanding European and global presence by acquiring UK life sciences firm, Forum Products Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Marketing and communication manager Jacqueline Schweig told NutraIngredients the company was interested in building its suite of “tailor-made solutions”, the kind offered by Forum in food, supplements, pharma, cosmetics and animal feed applications.

Barentz also sought to bolster its presence in one of the western European markets where it had the lowest profile, despite having a Manchester office. France is another country it is targeting.

The acquisition will lead to the company establishing a pharma-centric centre of excellence that will also incorporate nutraceutical work.

“They are experts in blends and can work in the crossover of pharma and food,” Schweig said. “If you have a good position in food it helps in pharma too – it all goes together.”

Hidde van der Wal, Barentz CEO, added: “The beauty for both parties is that the Forum portfolio does not create any conflict of interest but only synergies, so we can learn from each other. For the stakeholders this assures a great future.”

Controlling stake in RFI

The move comes as Barentz this month took a majority share in Rewe Group-owned Rewe Food Ingredients (RFI) in Germany which has a strong line in sourcing Asian ingredients.

Of that undisclosed deal, van der Wal, said: “RFI brings years of experience with regard to sourcing of food ingredients in Asia and has good relationships with top suppliers. Together we can develop more critical mass and can strengthen our cost leadership position."

Vitablend expansion

Asia is playing an increasing role in the company’s affairs as Schweig relayed expansion plans in Singapore for its vitamin, mineral and antioxidant blend specialising Vitablend subsidiary, acquired at the beginning of 2008.

By Q4 2012 Vitablend will establish a production site in Singapore that will double potential batch sizes from 500kg to 1000kg and permit annual production of 1500 tonnes, if two shifts per day are worked. The company already has a sales presence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia, along with Australia and New Zealand.

It has forecast 30% growth in the region by 2015 with good prospects seen in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam for further expansion, with infant nutrition a key area.

Between 2006 and 2011 Barentz turnover has increased from €390m to €650m fed by other acquisitions such as that of Dutch soy and lupin specialist, MDB Twello, and organic growth.

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