Chr. Hansen and Novozymes unveil future merged company name: ‘Novonesis’

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages - Business partnership / Gajus
GettyImages - Business partnership / Gajus

Related tags Chr hansen Novozymes merger Mergers and acquisitions Marketing branding

Danish bioscience companies Novozymes and Chr. Hansen have disclosed the name of their upcoming merged entity.

The announcement made today marks the next step in the proposed integration of the two companies, which was initially announced a year ago​.

However, the name will only be used once the proposed combination of the two bioscience companies is finalised, which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2024 following regulatory approval. Until then, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen will operate as completely separate companies. 

The news comes after yesterday's announcement​ that Kerry will acquire the lactase enzyme business of the merging companies, and is set to pay around €150m/$161.7m subject to closing adjustment, with the deal expected to close in the first half of 2024.


The name means ‘A new beginning’, incorporating the Greek word ‘genesis’ meaning ‘origin’ or ‘beginning’, and ‘novo’ meaning new, and it has been chosen to represent a “new era of biosolutions”.

According to a press release from Novozymes​, choosing a word with a root in Greek, the name 'Novonesis’ “honours how ancient Greek thinkers played a key role in the development of science as we know it today.” 

Ester Baiget, President and CEO of Novozymes, expressed the significance of the name, stating: “Novonesis reflects where we came from, what we can achieve, and what we will become together. 

“In Novonesis, we will unite the brightest minds and the best science and technology in the field to help customers and businesses prosper while enabling them to solve some of the greatest challenges we all face. We are here to start an era of biosolutions.”    

And Cees de Jong, Chairman of Novozymes, emphasised that the name was developed “in close collaboration and dialogue between Novozymes and Chr. Hansen.”

“It has been crucial to find a name that can be a home to all our 10,000 employees, but even more importantly the name should represent the future potential of biosolutions. We believe we have found that name in Novonesis.” 

What’s in a name?

Choosing a new company name requires great consideration, explains Peter Wennström, founder of specialist branding agency The Healthy Marketing Team (HMT).

He notes that a name change can come with risks, such as "losing your heritage i.e., the brand equity you have built in your business.”

Wennström explains that “Chr Hansen is a good example of a very strong brand recognition and brand equity based on its long and consistent history,” but for some brands that could mean running the risk of disappearing off the radar, losing what reputation it has built up, which can affect “recognition, identity, and position in the market.”

As two separate companies, Wenstrom notes: “Chr Hansen and Novozymes are two good examples of clearly positioned brands. Chr Hansen due to its heritage, and Novozymes because of its slightly descriptive enzyme name. 

“The name is the identity, and it helps to create the right expectations.” 

However, he adds: “A company can grow out of its original name, in the same way it can block your expansion into new categories.”

The renaming, he explains, “can adapt via brand communication about the repositioning of the brand, and can educate the audience about your new direction,” and in this instance, the renaming “creates a story that can be told as the genesis idea behind the new beginning for Chr Hansen and Novozymes. 

“Although the new name is a bit stumbling in your mouth, it creates a very good story for the new combination that everyone can share. So, the naming is well done.”

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