French food supplements manufacturer, Arkopharma Group, has sold its 50 per cent stake to co-owner Holding Financiere Maconnaise, prompted by what Burgundy described as a conflict of interest. As its extracts supply business has grown Burgundy has found itself increasingly supplying Arkopharma's competitors, a situation Arkopharma decided to remedy. The terms of the sale were not disclosed. Arkopharma itself has been for sale for several months with no firm buyer in sight. The company was unavailable for comment. Out of the shadows Arkopharma and Holding Financiere Maconnaise established Burgundy Botanical Extracts in 1999 and the company has grown to become a €4m a year supplier of bulk and specialist extracts to the food supplements, functional foods, cosmetics and animal feed industries. Increasingly Burgundy has specialised in premium, novel extracts such as one of its latest offerings, hibiscus, which it launched recently as UTIrose, and which is being marketed as an alternative to cranberry in naturally treating urinary tract infections (UTIs). Sales and marketing director Gontran Gaillot told NutraIngredients.com the company's momentum in this direction had begun in earnest in 2006 and would not be affected by Arkopharma's divestment. Indeed it would help the process as it would allow the company to become more streamlined as a supplier of sophisticated, research-backed extracts. "Burgundy was well-known as a third-party supplier but not as a supplier in its own right and for the past couple of years we have been coming out of the shadows and making a name for Burgundy and we are very pleased with the progress we have made," Gaillot said. Burgundy reported 25 per cent revenue growth in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the corresponding period 12 months previous. Gaillot said company forecasts put revenue at €9m in 2009. "Our projection is for 35 per cent growth in 2008 over 2007," he said. "We have two new ingredients that are being researched and will be released within a year and have had a strong response to our latest releases like hibiscus. We are placing a high emphasis on research because we know you cannot survive in the market for long if that is not in place." Burgundy's biggest markets are in the US, Europe, Japan and South Africa. Burgundy claims to be the first supplier to gain the ISO 22,000 certification, which details high-level quality control procedures in manufacturing.