Acatris sells Canadian subsidiary

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Health ingredients maker Acatris has sold its North American food
division, based in Canada, to better focus on the European market,
reports Dominique Patton.

Acatris​, a division of the Dutch Royal Schouten Group, said yesterday that its Oakville-based Acatris Inc had been bought by Canadian private equity group TD Capital, part of the TD Bank Financial Group.

The food division, formerly Daminco, was acquired by the Royal Schouten Group in 2000 to strengthen its position in the North American food industry. It produces and distributes ingredients for the food processing industry.

It is an entirely separate entity from Acatris' Minnesota-based North America health division, which develops and markets health ingredients for the dietary supplements companies, including the SoyLife, FenuLife and LinumLife ranges.

President Laurent Leduc told that the sale of the food division has "absolutely no effect on the health division"​.

The company declined to reveal current turnover and growth at the food unit, although Dr Bert Piëst, CEO of Royal Schouten Group and Acatris, says it has "performed very well"​ over the past five years.

"However, we want to focus more on the European food industry. The synergy between the North American and European operations was limited. We think it only fair to Acatris Inc to find another parent company that would be better able to support their growth opportunities,"​ he said in a statement.

Aart den Hartog, chief financial officer, told "Europe is more our backyard. We have more affinity in Europe in terms of the products we make and the markets we serve."

Acatris, headquartered in Londerzeel, Belgium, is owned by three private equity groups, with a 20 per cent share held by the management, increased last year to allow it to move more easily on strategic developments.

Royal Schouten does not report financial results for Acatris. The sale price of the North America food division was not disclosed.

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