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Kerry Group announces acquisition of lactase enzyme business from Chr. Hansen and Novozymes

Kerry Group announces acquisition of lactase enzyme business from Chr. Hansen and Novozymes dairy, Emerging Markets, Ingredients, Lactase, Lactose intolerance, lactose-free, Lactose-free dairy, Manufacturers, nutrition, Nutritionals, Sugar reduction Food and Beverage Business

Kerry Group is set to acquire the lactase enzyme business of merging Danish bioscience companies Chr. Hansen and Novozymes, pending regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2024, with Kerry paying around €150m/$161.7m, subject to closing adjustments.

This acquisition includes certain trade and assets of Chr. Hansen’s global lactase enzyme business and 100% of the share capital of Nuocheng Trillion Food (Tianjin) Co., Ltd, a Chinese subsidiary of Novozymes. Kerry has been expanding its expertise in enzymes, having recently acquired German biotechnology company c-LEcta GmbH and Mexico-based enzyme manufacturer Enmex.

Kerry’s chief science and technology officer, Dr Albert McQuaid, commented on the acquisition strategy, stating that “the food and pharmaceutical industries are on the cusp of a new wave of innovation where new developments in biotechnology, synthetic biology and precision fermentation are radically transforming these sectors.”

With this latest acquisition, which includes Chr. Hansen’s NOLA lactase products, Kerry aims to further enhance its biotech solutions capability. The global demand for lactase is being driven by increased awareness of lactose intolerance and the growing consumer preference for lactose-free products for lifestyle and health reasons.

Lactase is an enzyme used to produce lactose-free or lactose-reduced dairy products. According to Euromonitor Passport 2022 research, lactose-free dairy is the industry’s fastest-growing segment globally, experiencing a market growth of 10% between 2016 and 2022. This aligns with the food and beverage industry trends and food and drink consumer trends, indicating a shift towards healthier and more sustainable products.

Through these acquisitions, Kerry is strategically positioning itself to be at the forefront of food and beverage industry innovation, leveraging food processing technology and addressing food and drink sustainability. This move also highlights the company’s focus on embracing food and drink regulations and packaging, as well as adapting to food distribution trends and marketing strategies.

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