Naturex gains Asian foothold as it acquires Indian colours producer

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Valentine acquisiton aids Asian push for Naturex
Valentine acquisiton aids Asian push for Naturex

Related tags: India, Asia

French company Naturex, in a move that gives it its first Asian industrial facility, has acquired a leading fruit and vegetable powder and natural colours producer in India - Valentine.

The French specialty plant-based ingredients supplier had been touting a potential acquisition in the region for a number of months and finally confirmed a takeover today. 

CEO Jacques Dikansky, president and CEO of Naturex, said it had agreed with Valentine not to reveal the purchase price of the deal nor expand on the profitability of the Indian firm.

He also confirmed to FoodNavigator.com from India today that China would be the next step on the acqusition trail - with a purchase planned before the end of 2012.

The Avignon-headquarted company said that it selected Valentine, which has two production sites located near Mumbai, based on the fact that its core business is a "100% fit with our exisiting portfolio of colours and powders"​ along with its excellent customer base within the domestic and multinational food manufacturing sector in India.

It revealed that the Indian firm has a “growth rate of 30% per year over the last two years​”, and employs about 50 people.

Dikansky reckons the integration of the Mumbai firm within the Naturex fold will enable that growth rate to expand next year. "I am aiming for a rate of around 50% per year by 2013, which is feasible as we intend to reorganise and expand Valentine's sales force to give it a more aggressive profile. The company will also benefit from being able to leverage Naturex's scientific and technical resources."

Growth targets

It is the second such acquisition for the French supplier since the purchase of Burgundy Botanicals in October 2011, with the CEO telling this publication then that the company was aiming to buy five to six companies in the subsequent six months.

December 2011 saw Naturex announce the acquisition of Polish pectin and juice concentrates manufacturer, Pektowin for €8.4m, in a bid to strengthen its concentrates portfolio and help it expand into Eastern Europe, with deal finally signed off in January this year.

Strategic advantage

Naturex said the takeover of Valentine offers the French group major strategic advantages allowing it to become a local producer in India in order to strengthen its penetration in a market enjoying high growth.

India with 1.2 billion inhabitants and a GDP per inhabitant of USD$3,700 puts it as the fourth leading economy in the world.

“In addition, the substantial development of a young and urban middle class for which the consumption codes are largely influenced by western culture, represents genuine opportunities for growth in the Indian food industry.”

The French company said the Indian production sites will also supplement its regional production centers in Europe and in the Americas, in particular for natural colors. "Manufacturing capacity in India will also allow us to produce other Naturex products for both the Indian and other key south-east Asian markets in the future," ​said Dikansky.

Naturex added that a new purchasing office in India will enable it to better benefit from the wealth of the country's raw materials from herbs to spices to plant extracts.

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