ISP buys up stabilisers in UK

Related tags Methyl cellulose

Movement in the global hydrocolloids industry continues this week
with ISP Food Specialities, the UK arm of US private company
International Specialty Products (ISP), announcing it will buy the
UK stabiliser firm Red Carnation Gums (RCG).

The 30 year old RCG company based in Essex will add emulsifiers, stabilisers and gelling systems to ISP's portfolio with the bolt-on acquisition for which financial details were not revealed.

"ISP continues to seek acquisitions of companies that have high value food ingredient and speciality chemical products with strong technical competencies,"​ said Sunil Kumar, CEO of ISP.

The news comes barely two weeks after Danisco confirmed plans to purchase the ingredients arm of French chemicals company Rhodia, a move that will broaden the Danish company's scope in the hydrocolloid business.

A leading producer of alginates ISP was taken private early last year following the purchase of the remaining stock by its chairman and majority stockholder - and corporate raider - Samuel Heyman.

The company has since been working on consolidating its position and in 2003 it acquired the Brazilian ingredient systems company Germinal that supplies the meat and dairy industry in southern Latin America, with a manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Cabreuva, Brazil.

Through his acquisition of ISP, Heyman gained a 9 per cent stake in Hercules, one of the world's largest producers of food grade methylcellulose (MC), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) - ingredients used, among other applications, to improve adhesion in batters.

A recent tussle for control of the chemicals company resulted in Heyman resigning as director on the board after a four-month proxy contest to control the company. The battle saw Heyman squaring up to the chief executive and chairman of Hercules William Joyce. But the battle ended recently when Heyman withdrew his board candidates and resigned as director, saying he had no further plans to pursue Hercules. Three of his allies on the 13-member board also resigned.

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