Naturex already offers a line of oleoresins, essential oils and flavouring extracts under its NAT'Arom line, but Chart will bolster its product offering since it brings a range of flavouring plant extracts in solid and fluid forms for the beverage and flavour industries. The two companies are said to have strong synergies - not only in their products but also in their customer bases. Jacques Dikansky, president and CEO of Naturex, said: "This acquisition strengthens our position in the natural flavouring ingredients market and further extablishes Naturex's position as one of the global leaders in the field of plant extracts." For her part, Chart president and CEO Claudia Molloy said the combination of the two companies will be a boost to customer service, and will enable them to compete for new business more effectively. Naturex marketing manager Antoine Dauby told FoodNavigator.com that Chart's sales have, until now, been focused on the US market. Now, however, the product lines will be incorporated into Naturex's global network, taking them into new geographic areas. Chart does not wish to disclose the financial details of the transaction. The new acquisition also gives added weight to the flavour ingredients side of Naturex's business. Dauby said that the business balance pre-Chart was 60 per cent nutraceuticals, 30 per cent flavour ingredients for food and 10 per cent cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Now it is 55 per cent nutraceuticals, 35 per cent flavour ingredients and 10 per cent cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. He stressed that the company does not set out to compete with the flavour industry, but its ingredients are sold mostly to flavour manufacturers for incorporation into flavour solutions for food manufacturers. Chart's 'solid' extracts are described as actually being semi-solid, paste-like extracts that are ideal of flavour applications. The fluid extracts, on the other hand, are water soluble and are said to be ideal for use by the beverage industry, which is always eager for cost-efficient soluble ingredients. These can be sold direct to manufacturers, or via flavour houses who can use them as part of a solution. The new acquisition is Naturex's third of the year. In January it acquired Italy's Hammer Pharma for €10m, and in May HP Botanicals (also Italian) for €2.2m. By bringing both companies into the fold, Naturex is in an even stronger position to build strong links with its Italian clients - and reach out strategically to the rest of Europe. Both Hammer and HP Botanicals' product offerings are targeted at the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Naturex's recent expansion has not just been Europe-centric. In July 2005 it made a major acquisition in the US, when it purchased Pure World for $37m (c €30m). The facility which came with that buy (now Naturex Inc) is also located in New Jersey and is not far from the Chart facility. Dauby said it is too early to say how the two businesses could work together on a practical and administrative level, and no timescale for integration has been set. Chart has 35 employees. Naturex also has a site in California which was acquired in 2002. Naturex said its sales for 2006 were €66.2m. In the first nine months of 2007 it says it organics sales growth of 13 per cent (that is, not counting sales from this year's acquisitions). Other big news for Naturex this year has been the establishment of a sales office in Oxford, UK. In 2008 it plans to build its sales network by establishing a subsidiary in China and establishing a sales office in Germany.