Frutarom snaps up Acatris Health for €10.5m

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vice president Nutrition

Frutarom is acquiring Acatris Health for €10.5m cash in the latest
step in its rapid expansion programme - a move expected to bolster
its R&D and human resources, and create new cross-selling

Acatris Health's portfolio is made up of the LifeLine product range, including the branded ingredients Linumlife, Fenulife and Soylife. Its primary markets are Western Europe and the US, and sales in 2005 were €11.6m.

In these markets Frutarom expects Acatris Health's existing marketing and sales organisation to deliver cross-selling opportunities with its existing client base and product offering. Moreover, Frutarom's presence in Asia will facilitate an entry into that market for Acatris Health's products, where they have had "limited presence up until now"​, according to Frutarom.

President and CEO Ori Yehudai said: "The acquisition of Acatris Health will significantly strengthen our unique, natural product portfolio that we offer our customers, particularly in the functional foods and dietary supplements markets that are enjoying rapid growth, and strengthen Frutarom's leadership position in these markets."

Yoni Glickman, executive vice president and general manager of Frutarom's fine ingredients division, told that the two companies have had a relationship for several years. Acatris Health has been the BeNeLux distributor of the EFLA line of ingredients.

It is anticipated that integration of Acatris Health will be completed within two quarters. He stressed that the LifeLine branding will continue to be used as it has strong recognition in the market place.

As part of the deal Frutarom has purchased Acatris Health's premises in Belgium, so the 38-strong staff will continue to be based there. Gluckman said that ultimately Acatris Health will be renamed as Frutarom, but there is not yet any timescale for that.

Frutarom has said that its R&D community will "benefit from significant new expertise in the arena of natural products with the addition of Acatris Health's capabilities and its development pipeline."

Indeed Frutarom's own pipeline has been far from quiet lately. Recent new product announcements include the introduction of pink rock rose extract aimed at boosting immunity, omega-3-rich Salvia seed oil, wild green oats for mental health, and an olive leaf extract for lowering blood pressure.

Also this month it gained the exclusive license from D-Herb to a plant extract to reduce and stabilise glucose levels in diabetes and pre-diabetes sufferers.

The acquisition of Acatris Health is not wholly unexpected, since Yehudai said when his company reported its Q2 results in August that there was contact with several interesting candidates in countries and markets where Frutarom already has significant activity.

Past acquisitions are making a contribution to Frutarom's growth story, such as the Nesse flavours and fragrances firm earlier this year.

In June 2005 Frutarom acquired the natural extracts division of the American firm AM Todd Botanical Therapeutics; in August 2004 the fruit and vegetable extract business of International Flavours and Fragrances for €30m; and in June 2003 Swiss company Emil Flaschmann, now known as Frutarom Switzerland for €20m.

Acatris was formed in 2003 when Royal Schouten Group merged four of its food and health ingredients companies: Daminco, Orffa Health & Nutrition, Schouten USA and SoyLife Nederland.

The acquisition by Frutarom includes the North American division of Acatris Health; it has no impact on the company's food ingredients division.

Frutarom's Fine Ingredients Division currently has a turnover of around US$100m, Yehudai told in August, and 70 per cent of this is from natural products, be it health ingredients or flavours.

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