Danisco’s hydrocolloid business “a good fit” with DuPont

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Danisco, Nutrition, Enzyme, Dupont

DuPont has asserted its commitment to the hydrocolloid business it acquired when it bought Danisco after speculation that it could be sold.

The US chemical giant has apparently written to IMR International’s hydrocolloid expert, Dennis Seisun, after he suggested that DuPont might want to divest Danisco’s hydrocolloid business.

Seisun’s comments were reported in a FoodNavigator.com article about the possibility of FMC Corporation looking for acquisitions. Seisun said that Danisco’s hydrocolloid business “didn’t seem to fit with what Dupont is currently doing”, in which case FMC would be a likely bidder if it were for sale.

The US chemical group DuPont recently acquired Danisco for $6.4bn but Seisun believes that it was more interested in Danisco’s enzyme business.

However, in response to his comments, Seisun claims he has now received a corrective statement from DuPont and Danisco making clear their position.

It states: “Danisco's hydrocolloid business strongly complement the new Dupont Nutritional & Health product offering and the new organization sees strong opportunities to further develop and strengthen this business segment within the new Dupont organization.”

FoodNavigator.com contacted DuPont and a spokesman said: “We haven’t confirmed any conversation or meeting and we are declining to comment on rumours or speculation”.

However, a spokesman for Danisco told FoodNavigator.com that Danisco/DuPont “support the quote”​ that Seisun said he had received.

DuPont has also made several public statements about its sincere interest in the Danisco food ingredient section - including hydrocolloids.

When DuPont successfully completed its tender offer in May this year, DuPont Chair & CEO, Ellen Kullman, said: “Danisco’s attractive specialty food ingredients businesses and Genencor’s leading industrial enzymes complement DuPont’s own Nutrition & Health and Applied BioSciences offerings. This combination will create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health.”

On July 28, DuPont published its second quarter results which stated that, following the Danisco acquisition, two new reportable segments had been added.

The first is the new Nutrition & Health segment, which contains Danisco’s food ingredients business and DuPont’s Nutrition & Health business, previously reported as part of the Agriculture & Nutrition segment. The second is the Industrial Biosciences segment, which includes Danisco’s enzyme business and DuPont™ Sorona® and Bio-PDOTM businesses, previously reported in Other.

Commenting at the time, Kullman said: “Longer term, we expect additional compelling growth opportunities across our businesses stemming from science-powered innovations and collaboration, including the integration of Danisco’s world-class enzymes, fermentation and specialty food ingredients capabilities with DuPont’s strong industrial biosciences and nutrition & health offerings.”

Hydrocolloids are used to texturise and stabilise food products from dressings to ice cream, but are sensitive to spiralling raw material costs.

Seisun said that prices have been going up across the board in most of them - mainly raw material related - but described it as “a healthy sector to be in right now”.

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