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Kerry Group Invests €150m To Acquire Lactase Enzyme Business

By Dayeeta Das
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Kerry Group Invests €150m To Acquire Lactase Enzyme Business

Taste-and-nutrition firm Kerry Group has entered into an agreement to acquire the lactase enzyme business of Danish bioscience companies Chr Hansen and Novozymes, for a total consideration of €150 million.

The acquisition, to be carried out on a ‘carve-out basis’, comprises part of the global lactase enzyme business of Chr Hansen and 100% of the share capital of Nuocheng Trillion Food (Tianjin) Co., Ltd, a Chinese subsidiary of Novozymes, the company noted.

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2024, is subject to the European Commission’s approval of Kerry as a buyer and forms part of the merger approval process of Novozymes and Chr Hansen.

Biotechnology Solutions

The lactase enzyme business, which includes NOLA products, will enhance Kerry’s biotechnology solutions capability, following the acquisitions of c-LEcta and Enmex, completed in March 2022 and December 2021, respectively.

The move will give the company access to technology that helps create lactose-free and reduced-sugar dairy products while preserving their taste, it said.

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Increased awareness of lactose intolerance and preference for lactose-free products, for lifestyle and health reasons, is driving the global demand for lactase.

In 2022, the combined lactase enzyme business of Chr Hansen and Novozymes generated revenue of approximately €40 million from sales in more than 50 countries.

In October, Kerry noted that it expected full-year earnings growth to be at the low end of its previously stated range, following a third-quarter decline in volumes and pricing in its small dairy business.

The Irish group, which supplies ingredients to the likes of McDonald’s, also noted that pricing in its much larger taste-and-nutrition unit began to fall, with a third-quarter decline of 1.4%, reflecting some input cost deflation.

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