MARCQ-EN-BAROEUL, FRANCE — Lesaffre has acquired a majority stake in Biohymn Biotechnology, a Chinese company that specializes in the production of yeast and yeast extracts. Lesaffre said the transaction aligns with its goal of strengthening its presence in the Chinese market and ensuring greater proximity to its clients.
Lesaffre has had a presence in China since the 1980s, including production of the Saf-Instant yeast brand. In 1999, Lesaffre acquired a yeast plant at Ming Guang, near Nankin, 186 miles from Shanghai. In 2010, new plants were commissioned at Laibin, Guangxi, in partnership with the sugar producer Donta. And finally, in 2015, the group signed a majority shareholding in Sungain, at Chongzuo, Guangxi region, 93 miles from Nanning.
Lesaffre operates three production sites in China (Ming Guang, Laibin, Chongzuo) and four Baking Centers (Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Beijing and Canton). The Baking Centers provide technical support, training and advice to Lesaffre’s customers. The completion of the shareholding with Biohymn is expected to strengthen Lesaffre’s presence and offering to Chinese customers, not only in baking but also in the field of food taste and pleasure, in animal nutrition and health, and in nutriments for biotechnologies, the company said.
“Lesaffre welcomes this new operation, which will enable us to strengthen our position in China,” said Antoine Baule, chief executive officer of Lesaffre. “We have been present in China for many years, and we want to work on long term. With this new significant investment, we are establishing our will to be close to our customers, to offer them our products and services and fulfill their specific requirements. We aim to answer to the increasing market demand, especially yeast for mantou, but also in animal nutrition and biotechnologies.”
Jean-Philippe Poulin, president of the China region at Lesaffre, said the partnership between the two companies will create “great synergy,” and will help develop the main sugar production region in north China.
“We will leverage the localization of Biohymn to further develop the north China market by better serving bakery, animal health and nutrition and biotech markets,” Mr. Poulin said.