DSM aims to reinforce enzyme innovation with US acquisition

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bric Dsm food specialties

DSM notes demand up for yeast extracts, cultures and enzymes
DSM notes demand up for yeast extracts, cultures and enzymes
A deal with US company Verenium sees Dutch ingredients giant DSM acquiring exclusive world-wide licenses to alpha-amylase and xylanase enzymes within the food and beverage markets.

The multinational has also acquired the California-based company’s oilseed processing business.

DSM added that the deal will give it access to the newly developed bio-diversity collection and library being created by the US firm. “Utilizing ultra high-throughput screening technologies, Verenium mines its collection of billions of microbial genes in search of unique enzymes,”​ explained the Dutch group.

DSM said the newly acquired assets, which cost it in total US$37m, are aimed at further strengthening its industrial biotech activities through oilseed processing and are set to reinforce its food enzymes innovation pipeline.

“We want to be a strong player in the enzymes business, we intend to continue to innovate in the area and this acquisition will be instrumental in terms of our growth plans in this sector,”​ Hans-Christian Ambjerg, president of DSM Food Specialties, told FoodNavigator.com.

The Dutch multinational puts the market size for food enzymes alone at more than US$1.3bn.

Indeed, last month, the Dutch group noted demand for a wide variety of bio-ingredients including yeast extracts, cultures and enzymes, “continues in the BRIC countries as well as in more traditional markets such as Europe and North America.”

Ambjerg said the brewing sector, both in Europe and in Asia, particularly China, where beer consumption in rising, was fuelling demand in the category with brewers realising significant reductions in cost from enzyme use. 

The bakery industry, he added, is also driving growth in the segment but applications vary across region, with local manufacturing facilities key to understanding the applications best suited to individual market preferences on bread and other products.

Chinese enzyme market

June last year saw DSM sign a joint venture agreement with Chinese biotechnology company Yixing QianCheng Bio-Engineering that gave give the Dutch ingredients supplier its first enzyme manufacturing plant in China.  

Ambjerg said the joint venture which was established with the goal of producing enzymes for the brewing, bakery and other food sectors in China and other Asian markets “is progressing nicely and gives us a real foothold in that region.”

Acquisition war chest

Last month DSM board member Stephan Tanda told our sister site NutraIngredients.com that there was €2bn available to build on its 2011 acquisitions.

“We have €2bn cash on the balance sheet which can be leveraged up so we are looking across our portfolio and acquisitions will continue in 2012,”​ he said, with innovative nutritional ingredients and customer-facing, emerging market, premix facilities prioritised.

“We are looking at a range of targets but as tends to be the way you have ten in mind and then one happens, but we have a good track record and do not want to overpay and disrespect our shareholders.”

In celebrating 11% revenue growth in 2011 on 2010 from €8.176bn to €9.048bn, Tanda said the Dutch multinational was cautious about some markets like the economically challenged Eurozone, but bullish about prospects in emerging markets like Brazil and China which now account for 39% of across-the-board sales.

The company expects this emerging market revenue share to be worth 50% by 2015.


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