"One of our strategic pillars is international growth with specific dairy ingredients worldwide," explained Campina CEO Justinus Sanders, "The acquisition of Inovatech provides us with a stepping stone for further growth with dairy based ingredients."
DMV International, a large supplier of ingredients used in functional foods and part of Campina, is adapting the Argentine dairy plant for value-added ingredient production.
"We have plans for more specialized ingredients for the food and nutrition industry," Campina spokesperson Rai Feldman told NutraIngredients.com.
Inovatech is situated in Villa Nueva in Argentina's Cordoba province. Its 65 employees and €12m annual turnover makes it a small but strategic addition to Campina, which has an annual turnover of around €3.6 bn and some 6,800 employees.
"With the acquisition, we gain access to production capacity in a country that is well known for its efficient dairy industry infrastructure and therefore is considered an attractive source for dairy proteins worldwide," said Justinus Sanders, CEO of Campina.
The dairy market in Argentina was worth $2572.6m in 2005, according to Euromonitor International.
In the nutrition market, Argentina saw a $30.7m retail value for dietary supplements in 2005, according to Euromonitor. This represents roughly 5 percent of the total retail value for the same category of products in all of Latin America, which in turn represents only about 7 percent of the world market.
"This acquisition will quite rightly boost DMV International's market position for ingredients in the (South-) American market," said Alexander Wessels, managing director of Campina's industrial products group. "That will give us an opportunity to develop and become stronger in a market that is becoming increasingly important for us."
In the past two years Argentina has seen an influx of foreign investors after the majority had fled following the historic sovereign-debt default and currency devaluation in 2001. Argentina is attractive to foreign companies due to its highly skilled workforce, thriving agricultural sector and relatively cheap prices. However, burdensome bureaucratic issues are still keeping some companies at bay.
Campina's only other plant in the Americas is located in the US. The company has also opened a sales office in Buenos Aires, but Feldman could not comment on whether any agreements with local companies are in place.
The current application areas of the Inovatech plant are dairy, ice cream, and bakery, as well as sports and nutrition products, and infant formulas. The plant is GMP, Halal and Kosher Certified.