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CNI, Bio Serae owner shares innovation plans

By Jess Halliday, 08-Apr-2010

Related topics: Emulsifiers, stabilisers, hydrocolloids , Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients, Health and nutritional ingredients, Business

The group behind ingredients firms CNI, Bio Serae, Afritec, Starlight Products and NutriProcess, has unveiled more details of its growth spurt strategy following the acquisition of 76 per cent of shares by its CEO, including a team dedicated to new products and health claim submissions.

All five companies that make up the Iranex Group deal in natural ingredients, which are enjoying huge popularity in food products around the globe due to a rising tide against chemical and artificial additives. It currently has annual revenue of around €70m – 90 per cent of which is from exports.

In early March CEO and managing director Stephane Dondain announced that he had increased his shareholding to 76 per cent, and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners bought around 24 per cent via the Winch Capital 2 FCPR fund.

This change is said to “put and end to the recurrent rumours of transfer and clearly reaffiorms the group’s independence and his [Dondain’s] confidence in the future of the group”.

Strategy

Although the group alluded to its ambitious growth plans at the time the acquisition was announced, no hints were given about how it planned to go about them.

Now, however, Dondain has said a first step in the new strategy is setting up a new scientific and regulatory department, which will have the goal of launching two new products a year and submitting health claims dossiers.

He said he plans to strengthen synergies between the give companies, which all aim to develop and market active ingredients while preserving sustainable plant origin.

CNI specialises in gum acacia, Bio Serae in natural ingredients for food and nutraceuticals, Starlight sources botanicals, resins, oils and fats, gums and hydrocolloids, and NutriProcess is a service provider for powder spray drying, encapsulation and coatings.

“We are now entering a new growth cycle, based on increased industrial investments, research programme development, and new diversification projects,” said Dondain. “Our objective is to build a sustainable future, to reinforce our position among the world leaders of food and nutraceutical ingredients, and to reach a turnover of €100m by 2015.”