Novonesis is born of Novozymes and Chr. Hansen merger

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Signing agreement © simarik / GettyImages
Signing agreement © simarik / GettyImages

Related tags Novozymes Chr hansen Mergers and acquisitions Kerry

Novozymes and Chr. Hansen have completed their merger, giving rise to a new global biosolutions company called Novonesis.

The two legacy companies announced the agreement to merge​ their microbial and enzyme capabilities in December 2022 and a year later unveiled the new company name Novonesis​, a combination of the Greek word 'novo' and ‘genesis’ to communicate a new beginning.

The finalization of the merger was contingent upon the completion of regulatory approvals and registrations, with the new company now successfully registered with the Danish Business Authority.

Combined visions

Novonesis now boasts a combined workforce of 10,000 individuals and expertise spanning more than 30 industries including bioenergy, human health and advanced protein solutions.

Half of the portfolio will focus on promoting healthier lives and producing better foods, while the other half will focus on reducing chemical use and targeting climate-neutral practices.

"Novonesis combines our joint strengths and the wonders of biology, and we are set to lead a new era of biosolutions,” said Ester Baiget, president and CEO of Novonesis. "We will innovate and develop transformative biosolutions that improve the way we all produce, consume and live.”

Noting the company's commitment to sustainability, Cees de Jong, chairman of Novonesis, added: "Together, we will serve as a growth partner to our customers; a value creator to our shareholders; and a company that has a significant, positive impact on society and the planet. Novonesis builds on a shared heritage of sustainability leadership and will keep leading the way.” 

The outlined sustainability goals aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 and significant reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030. In addition, the company aims for gender balance, with a minimum of 45% women and 45% men across all professionals and senior management by 2030. 

Financial details ​ 

The newly formed entity intends to leverage its broad biological toolbox and diversified portfolio to generate an annual revenue of approximately €3.7 billion.

Financial ambitions include an expected organic revenue growth of 6% to 8% through 2025 and an operating earnings over operating sales (EBIT) margin of 29% by 2025.

The company anticipates annual revenue synergies (revenue generated by the combined company following a merger or acquisition) of €200 million and cost synergies (the savings in operating costs expected after the merger) of €80 to €90 million, achievable within three to four years of merger completion.

The Kerry Group acquisition

The merger was conditional upon the divestment of a part of the combined future company's global lactase enzyme business to Kerry Group plc, which was also announced at the end of last year.​ 

This was established on a carve-out basis, meaning that some shares can be sold to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), effectively establishing the subsidiary as a standalone company.

Now, following a separate purchaser approval process conducted by the European Commission, Kerry Group plc has been formally approved as the purchaser of the Novonesis lactase business.

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