Although it had a ‘solid’ market position in Europe, it still saw opportunities to intensify growth in some of its ‘defined key markets’ in the region. But clearly, its main potential lay in India, China and the Asia Pacific region, it added.
The company's chief executive officer Hidde van der Wal said: “For instance, looking at the industries we are targeting in China, we have our eye on the highly specialised nutrition market and are looking to expand our reach there.”
Specialty nutrition, he said, were nutritional blends which included specialty ingredients such as specialty fibres, novel proteins, emulsifiers and natural sweeteners and salt replacers that Barentz is “best known for”.
He added that the company also saw great potential to grow its stake in infant nutrition, medical nutrition and sports nutrition.
Barentz is currently active in food, pharma, personal care and human and animal nutrition industries.
Growth, acquisitions and consolidations
The ingredients distribution market has seen major consolidation activities in the past decade which had been critical to its growth, said Wal.
Distributors, who wanted to stay relevant, were urged to increase their geographical reach to realise economies of scale. And while companies like "IMCD went public last year to generate funds to grow further", Barentz’s aim remained to be privately owned and independent, he said.
“The solid position we are in now requires a different scale of investments, therefore we decided to look for an equity partner who shares our independent philosophy and could commit to Barentz for a long term partnership.”
The equity partner that was found together with Holland Corporate Finance was ‘a family office’. While Barentz remained tight-lipped about the injection capital from the anonymous investor, Wal said that the company had been “eager to implement our acquisition strategy with us to realise sustainable profitable growth”.
Barentz had built its assets over the past years with the acquisitions of Agri Nutrition, Forum Products and Maustepalvelu. “The majority participations in…NK Chemicals and Additive Solutions have enabled Barentz to strengthen its market position and expand its geographical reach even further,” added Wal.
Holland Corporate Finance had acted as exclusive advisor to Barentz, and partner at the firm Marc van de Put said more growth was forecast. “Our next step together is to find suitable acquisition candidates in Barentz’ core distribution markets in the food and nutrition, pharmaceutical, personal care and animal nutrition industries in order to accelerate the growth strategy of Barentz.”