Danisco spins off Genencor's drug discovery arm

Related tags Danisco Enzyme

Danisco will spin off the loss-making healthcare activities of new
enzyme acquisition Genencor, the Danish ingredients firm has

A week after completing the €476 million ($617 million) acquisition of US biotech firm Genencor, Danisco said yesterday it had "no long-term strategic or commercial interest"​ in a 100 per cent ownership of Genencor's healthcare business, that involves the discovery and development of drugs to combat cancer diseases.

In 2004 the healthcare segment drew an operating loss of $23.3 million, while the bioproducts arm, the business Danisco will take into its fold, brought in an operating profit of $56.2 million.

Spinning off the healthcare arm into an independent company, Danisco will still opt for a minority interest in the new firm.

"Danisco would like to maintain a share of the potential and attractive value creation arising from these projects,"​ said the Danish firm.

And in a new management shake up, Robert H. Mayer, executive vice president at Danisco will take the slot of CEO and chairman of Danisco Genencor, replacing Genencor's current CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, who opted to resign as a result of the acquisition.

In parallel, Danisco will shake up management in other areas of its business.

US-based Tjerk de Ruiter will take over the general responsibility of Danisco Flavours, Danisco Cultures and Danisco Specialities from 1 May 2005 and is appointed chief operating officer for these divisions.

Ole Søgaard Andersen will succeed Tjerk de Ruiter on 1 May 2005 as responsible for Danisco's sales organisation (the EUROW, AMCAS and ASPAC regions as well as global marketing).

With Danisco's acquisition of Genencor, Danish companies now control two-third's of global enzyme production.

In the global enzymes market Danish firm Novozymes, with an approximate 45 per cent share, is the number one player.

But Danisco now follows behind the category leader, with Genencor bumping up its share of the market from about 2 per cent to 20 per cent.

The market for enzymes, that reached over $2 billion (€1.53bn) in 2004, is currently showing timid growth, with new figures from BCC Communications predicting just 2 to 3 per cent growth to 2009.

Pitched at €10.97 billion in 2004, the global market for fermentation products, that includes enzymes, is expected to rise by 4.8 per cent per year, to reach €13.6 billion in 2009.

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