Naturex buys plant extracts business

by Jeff Gelski
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Naturex s.a., Avignon, France, acquired the Actifs Innovants division of The Berkem Group, Gardonne, France, for €9.5 million ($14.1 million). The Actifs Innovants division consists of 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 extracts 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 will finance the acquisition through a €35 million credit line established for acquisitions in November 2006. In December 2007, 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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