‘Demand for naturally sourced colours is increasing’: Chr. Hansen Natural Colors seeks growth with first acquisition

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Chr hansen Colours Natural colours

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors has announced its first major transaction since becoming a standalone company in the hope of further bolstering its position as leader in natural colours.

In its first add-on investment since being acquired by private equity firm EQT last year, the Danish company has announced the integration of Spanish-based SECNA Natural Ingredients Group S.L into its portfolio.

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors said it was looking to ‘continue its strong growth acceleration’ with the deal. “We’re committed to continuing to find new ways to harness and share the power of nature's true colours,”​ said Odd Erik Hansen, CEO, Chr. Hansen Natural Colors. “This is the first of many exciting milestones for us as a standalone company. We look to enhance our value proposition and strengthen our operational platform together with the team at SECNA at a time when demand for naturally sourced colours is increasing.”

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors CEO Odd Erik Hansen told FoodNavigator the acquisition significantly strengthens its position by giving it access to SECNA Groups’ range of pigments.

“The acquisition of SECNA is great news for us because they have a strong portfolio which includes black carrot, grape extracts, and caramel,”​ he said. “All of these will be great additions in the form of backwards integrations to our existing offerings. This will really help us cement our journey towards being the number one provider of natural colours in the world. From the grape skin perspective, SECNA’s portfolio of grape extracts also complements our existing grape skin extract business. Additionally, SECNA has a strong organic portfolio of products that will allow us to address this key area, which is a priority for us.”

He added it was too early to say if the deal would result in new colours or applications. “We are excited to add the raw material and processing skills from SECNA, which will strengthen our support to all our customers around the world. Our focus remains to support customers in beverages, food, pet food and dietary supplements with the broadest and best product solutions,” ​he said.

The SECNA group is a holding of several companies, with a presence in Spain, Italy and Turkey. SECNA Group CEO Gabriel Muñoz called the partnership a win–win situation. “Chr. Hansen Natural Colors will add our strong pigment offerings in anthocyanins and caramel to their collection, while providing our valued customers and suppliers with access to their portfolio, technologies and market reach, which is the most extensive in the industry.”

Chr Hansen looks next-gen fermented dairy ingredients after divesting colours division

Chr. Hansen sold its Natural Colours Division last year to Swedish private equity firm EQT in order to focus on its microbial and fermentation technology platforms. Earlier this month the ingredients maker posted second-quarter profits in line with expectations and adjusted full-year guidance higher.

CEO Mauricio Graber said: “Through the acquisitions we have done, we are building a more balanced business globally between Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition. We’ve continued the integration of the acquired businesses and have recently completed a major milestone in the divestment of Natural Colors, and we are executing our strategy of becoming a focused bioscience company based on a unique microbial and fermentation technology platform.”

In Q2, he added, the company progressed on its innovation agenda with many new patents, trademarks and registrations, and in Q3 will be launching the next generation of bioprotection for fermented milks and certain cheeses.

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