Naturex buys plant extracts business

by Jeff Gelski
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AVIGNON, FRANCE — Naturex has acquired the Actifs Innovants division of The Berkem Group, Gardonne, France, for €8.5 million ($12.5 million), Avignon-based Naturex said Jan. 8. The Actifs Innovants division consists of clinically tested and trademarked plant extracts for the food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.

Naturex factories will manufacture the extracts and sell them in Europe, the Americas and Asia through the company’s worldwide sales network. Naturex has a U.S. location in South Hackensack, N.J.

Berkem’s Actifs Innovants division had sales of €3.8 million in 2007. Its plant exracts are taken from such sources as grapes, rooibos tea, coffee, lemon balm, pine bark, olive tree leaves and female hop cones. Its Svetol product, a green coffee extract, is known for weight loss effects.

"This acquisition will boost our ability to bring more and more innovative health product concepts that will set the market trends, with the competitive advantage to offer health claims supported by all the required scientific proofs, from certificates of authenticity to clinical studies," said Jacques Dikansky, president and chief executive officer of Naturex.

Naturex develops, manufactures and markets natural ingredients for the food, dietary supplement and nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

"Our Actifs Innovants division is a great fit with Naturex," said Olivier Fahy, president and c.e.o. of The Berkem Group. "Its integration will enable it to pursue and accelerate its growth thanks to Naturex’s means in terms of R.andD. and sales network."

Naturex will finance the acquisition through a €35 million credit line established for acquisitions in November 2006. In December, Naturex acquired Chart Corp., a company in New Jersey that specializes in the production of natural flavoring ingredients for the beverage and flavor industries.

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