MALMÖ, SWEDEN — AAK has acquired a majority stake in Manchester, U.K.-based Soya International. The business will trade under a new name: AAK Soya International Ltd.

“This acquisition is highly positive both for us and our existing customers,” said Sonny Arora, co-founder of Soya International. “AAK shares our vision of achieving growth by focusing on key industry trends and we’re excited to continue on this journey, driven by a new, dedicated leadership team.”

Sonny Arora, who founded Soya International in 1996 with his brother Sonu, will remain as managing director of AAK Soya International.

AAK Soya International supplies a range of products, including non-G.M.O. liquid lecithins, non-G.M.O. powdered lecithins, organic lecithins and specialty lecithin solutions developed for chocolate, confectionery, bakery, dairy and infant nutrition applications. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier produced from vegetable oils such as soy, sunflower and rapeseed.

“Our ambition is to be one of the world’s leading non-G.M.O. lecithin suppliers, with a focus on value-adding specialty products,” said Marco Oomen, global business director of chocolate and confectionery fats at AAK. “The establishment of AAK Soya International gives us a major foothold to do this and it’s a perfect strategic fit with AAK’s specialty oils and fats portfolio.”

From left: Marco Oomen, Sonny Arora and Alec van Veldhoven
Photo: AAK

Following the acquisition, there will be no change to current lecithin supply arrangements for existing customers. AAK Soya International’s products are available in more than 40 countries and the company’s reach will now extend further due to AAK’s global sales network. The company will continue to operate out of Manchester.

“In the oils and fats sector, AAK is globally recognized as the co-development company,” said Alec van Veldhoven, senior director of AAK Soya International. “We partner with our customers to find optimal solutions for their products and they appreciate this approach. Now we can also deliver this value proposition in the lecithin sector.”

AAK said the acquisition gives customers opportunity to simplify operations by sourcing specialty lecithin ingredients alongside oils and fats from one supplier. There is growing demand for non-G.M.O., sustainably produced lecithin ingredients in traditional markets like Europe with high growth in the United States and Asia.

AAK is a provider of value-adding vegetable oils and fats. Expertise includes lipid technology within foods and special nutrition applications, wide range of raw materials and broad process capabilities enable AAK to develop innovative and value-adding solutions across many industries, including chocolate and confectionery, bakery, dairy, special nutrition, food service and personal care. The company has more than 20 different production facilities, sales offices in more than 25 countries and more than 3,700 employees.