Chr Hansen continues refocus activities with US sale

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chr hansen, Probiotic, Chief executive officer

Chr Hansen has announced the sale of its excipients and coating
division in the US, in a move designed to further focus its
business on its core food ingredients activities.

The Danish firm had been operating the Excipients & Coating Division for around eight years, after it acquired it as part of an ingredients take-over from Crompton & Knowles. "We tried to run the business as efficiently as possible, but after a certain time we had to acknowledge that it did not really fit into our product portfolio,"​ Lars Frederiksen, Chr Hansen's chief executive officer told The firm's Excipients & Coatings Division primarily served the pharmaceutical industry through the production of inactive ingredients for tablets and capsules. It made up around $10m of the total $100m Ingredient Technology Corp acquired from Cropmton & Knowles in 1999. The division was acquired by pharmaceutical ingredient player Colocon for an undisclosed amount. According to Chr Hansen, the revenue generated from the sale will be reinvested into the firm's food ingredients business as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen its activities in cultures, dairy enzymes, natural colors and flavors. The company's global refocusing strategy has involved a number of divestitures and investments in recent years. In 2006, Chr Hansen sold its specialty sweetener division to American Sugar Refining, saying that sweeteners were not within its core product areas. The transaction included the specialty sweetener product line of molasses, malt, rice syrup, oat extract, honey, and invert and fondant sugar​, as well as production facilities in Louisiana and Illinois. Earlier this year, Chr Hansen also sold its paprika business activities and production facilities in Spain and India.​ The business included paprika​ and spice oleoresin, rosemary​ extract, paprika powder, turmeric, bixin and chlorophyll products. In terms of investment, Chr Hansen last week announced the establishment of a new Health & Nutrition business division in an effort to revitalize and speed up innovation. The company said the move was a result of the strong growth within its health arena, especially in the field of probiotics. "We have over the last couple of years seen significant growth in our human health business area and identified new and exciting areas for probiotic applications. We feel the time is right to broaden the business and use our well-renowned expertise on probiotics even more. We are quite confident that we will experience further growth in this area, as we already today have developed the best documented probiotic strains in the world,"​ said Frederiksen. In a parallel move, Chr Hansen also reorganized its culture and enzyme innovation activities into one new organization, named Innovation. The firm said the objective for the new organization is to put even more focus on customer driven innovation.

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