Greentech adds to ‘biotics portfolio with majority stake in the Solactis Group

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

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©iStock

Related tags: Solactis, Greentech, Prebiotics

French biotechnology firm, The Greentech Group has taken a majority stake in the Solactis Group, a specialist in microbiota-based food ingredients in a deal that looks to extend on current prebiotic and probiotic-related offerings.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the two firms revealed their intention to keep Solactis’ food R&D laboratory in Jouy-en-Josas, located on the outskirts of Paris.

Further plans will see Solactis’ head-office relocated to Saint Beauzire with no staff reduction and plans in place to increase staff numbers in key areas like R&D and sales.

Going forwards, the Solacatis Group will be known as Solactis Food and Feed Ingredients.

“Microbiota science and health benefits is the thread beyond the deal,”​ explains Pascal Ronfard, Founder and President of the Solactis Group.

“Greentech is a specialist of biotechnologies and fermentation, whilst Solactis is well known for its prebiotic oligosaccharides, with recognised health benefits.

“Our combined offer will be quite unique as the number of companies offering pro- and pre-biotics is very small. We will also leverage the Greentech knowledge on plant and algae extracts for food and feed applications.”

Solactis' expertise

Founded in 2013, Solactis specialises in the production of non-digestible oligosaccharides, with a strong focus on galactofructose, a non-digestible carbohydrate.

Galacto-oligosaccharide and galactofructose belong to the same group of lactose-derived prebiotics making it particularly suitable in addressing delicate gut-microbiome communities such as those found in infants.

In explaining how the influence of Greentech would influence Solactis’ core competencies, Ronfard described the huge and ongoing evolution of infant formulations driven primarily by the introduction of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs).

“At Solactis, with the assistance of Greentech Group, we propose to keep focusing on delivering demonstrated health benefits to the infants with well-known oligosaccharides,”​ he says.

“There is new science on microbiota analysis and description on which we want to be active, combining tradition and innovative breakthroughs.

“We also propose to offer new oligosaccharides conceived with a similar robust approach as galactofructose, and finally to look into probiotic bacteria, during food diversification and after the initial phase of the infant milk powder stages.”

Established in October 1992, Greentech located around 160km west of Lyon, develops ingredients from natural sources such as plant, marine and microbial-based sources.

In 2020, posted €49m in turnover with a workforce of 215 employees. It has three subsidiaries located in Germany, USA and Brazil.

In February 2021, the organisation struck a deal with Phytograde to further research Cannabidiol (CBD) and other phytocannabinoids’ potential as a valuable ingredient for cosmetic and nutraceutical applications.

‘A unique opportunity’

Commenting on the latest agreement with Solactis, Jean-Yves Berthon, founder and CEO of Greentech said, “This is a unique opportunity for Greentech to boost its customer offer in prebiotics and symbiotics, complementary to plant extracts, algae and microalgae for which the Greentech group is the European leader.

“The Group is thus continuing its growth objectives. Solactis is a strong growth company, with leadership positions in the market.

This acquisition of a majority position creates value for our group and supports our ambition to become a leader in life sciences. This transaction will lead us to further accelerate our transformation and strengthen our multi-market and cross-fertilisation approaches.”

“We remain ambitious and humble at the same time,”​ adds Ronfard. “Microbiota and digestive health is a difficult field were lots of companies have massively invested with little success with the authorities.

“Therefore, our principal objectives is to move ahead, successfully, but step by step. It means that we will carry on working in our areas of expertise in prebiotics, probiotics and microbiota for approved EFSA health claims.

“The connections between the bacteria and its various feeds is a key line of research, together with the several types of microbiota. We do not target high, we target to deliver."

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