Natraceutical enters finished products with Laboratoires Forté buy

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mergers and acquisitions

Natraceutical Group is purchasing French supplement maker
Laboratoires Forté Pharma - a move that propels it into the
lucrative finished production section and that is expected to boost
its turnover by more than 50 per cent.

The Spanish ingredients supplier said that, by reaching the consumer with its own products, it will extend its value-added process - a factor seen as more important, in fact, than just the growth spurt the purchase will bring about.

Laboratoires Forte Pharma has three lines of finished supplement products - slimming, health, and beauty - which are sold in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy. In the last four years it has multiplied its sales by five.

Natraceutical has said that it expects its own turnover to increase by more than 50 per cent as a result of the acquisition, to €150m and EBITDA of €24m. The group's 2005 sales were €53m with €5m EBITDA, but it was already predicting a leap in revenue to €100m and €16m EBITDA for full year 2006.

Natraceutical's primary business has been in extraction, production and commercialisation of natural, active and functional ingredients for foods, so the move may not bring about savings made through operational synergies.

But since its products are based on active ingredients, this means Natraceutical has a clear path to channel its raw materials right through to store shelves in its own finished products.

Natraceutical executives had not responded to's request for more information of strategy objectives prior to publication deadline, so plans for increasing or reformulating existing product lines to make room for the new owner's ingredients are not known.

Natraceutical plans to make the €82m acquisition free of liabilities, and will pay in cash derived partly from its own debt capacity and partly through amplification of capital.

It is a model is has used for previous acquisitions - and indeed the acquisition and integration last year of Obipektin and Overseal from British food ingredients business Braes were a significant factor in the group's optimistic outlook for 2006.

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