Danish firm Novozymes dominates the enzyme market, with about a 50 to 60 per cent share. "This is another step towards Univar's ambitions to be a key player in Central and Eastern Europe," said the company in a statement. "It will further expand Univar's activities serving the detergent, brewing, beverage alcohol and food markets in the Czech Republic, as well as strengthen the relationship with Novozymes." Enzymes have become a lucrative niche market. A report from Business Communications Company estimated that by 2009 the European enzyme market would reach €1.83 billion. The market for bakery enzymes came in at €32.1 million in 2003, expected to climb to €52.3 million by 2010. While Novozymes continues to dominate the enzyme market, US biotech firm Genencor, which now belongs to Danisco after acquisition clearance last year, falls into second place with an approximate 30 per cent slice. Univar is an independent distributor of industrial chemicals and providers of related specialty services, operating throughout both North America and Europe. It claims to have generated net sales of $6 billion in 2005, with an operating income (EBIT) of $207.7 million. Univar has approximately 6,700 employees based throughout North America and Europe. The company's registered office is in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with administrative support offices in Bellevue, Washington, USA, and Bradford, England, UK.
Univar's Czech subsidiary has acquired the enzymes distribution business of Ekozym, a specialised business based on the distribution of Novozyme products.