Mystery investor to support Barentz as it accelerates its feed NPD activities

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mystery investor to support Barentz as it accelerates its feed NPD activities

Related tags: Amino acid

Barentz said an injection capital from an ‘anonymous’ investor will help it accelerate new product development to support growth in the animal feed and pet food sectors.

The company, active in food, pharma, personal care and human and animal nutrition industries, said Holland Corporate Finance (HCF), a firm that works with Barentz to secure M&A deals, found the group “a strong equity partner.”

Hidde van der Wal, Barentz CEO, told us: “We are currently investing in novel protein sources and looking at ingredients that can spark innovation and efficiency for our customers in pet food and animal feed. These initiatives require investments and this new equity allows us to stay one step ahead and bring a comprehensive portfolio of innovative ingredients to our customers.”

The CEO said the deal was predicated on the non-disclosure of any details about the private equity firm involved.   

“All I can say on that is the solid position we are in now requires a different scale of investment. Therefore we decided to look for an equity partner who shares our independent philosophy and could commit to Barentz for the long term,”​ said van der Wal. 

Consolidation of ingredients distribution

HCF's Marc van de Put said the next step for Barentz was to find acquisition candidates in all the sectors it operates in.

That company is said to have played a key role in linking Barentz to potential investors. Acquisition has proved critical to long term growth prospects for ingredients distribution players as the market has consolidated hugely in the past decade.

And Barentz has not been shy when it comes to asset building - acquiring Vitablend, Agri Nutrition, Forum Products and Maustepalvelu in the past few years.

“Ingredients distributors who want to continue to be relevant are urged to increase their geographical reach and expand their product portfolio in order to achieve critical mass and realize economies of scale. We have seen distribution companies like IMCD going public this past year, to generate funds to grow further,”​ said van der Wal. 

In November last year, Paul Verboeket, VP of the company’s European animal nutrition division, told us Barentz aims to be the leading specialty feed ingredient distributor in Europe by moving into new markets and investing in insect and bacterial derived meals.

“We expect to outpace the competition by both growing our portfolio, staying on top of research into NPD, and gaining a foothold in regions beyond north western and south western Europe, where we already have a strong base,” ​said Verboeket.

Amino acid and yeast trends

He was enthusiastic about the growth prospects the specialty feed ingredients segment allows in a region like Europe where demand for compound feed is stagnant in most markets apart from eastern Europe and Russia.

“With producers needing to optimize the use of protein in livestock diets, the EU amino acid segment is still proving dynamic. While there are limited growth opportunities for established types likes lysine and methionine, we are still seeing buoyancy in the demand for threonine and tryptophan.  And there is huge interest in the newer amino acids like valine, arginine and isoleucine,”​ he said.

He said the migration away from antibiotics in Europe is supporting the yeast cultures segment. “Yeast blends and cultures, considered as immunity boosters in pigs and poultry, are being seen as one component in a producer’s toolbox to move away from a reliance on medicated feed,”​ said the VP.

It is critical to continue to find new and sustainable protein sources for the feed industry, and Barentz is involved in a number of initiatives in this regard.

“We see huge potential in insect sourced protein meal and we have teamed up with a number of producers. We are helping them to connect with feed, premix and pet food manufacturers,”​ said Verboeket.

The company is also actively supporting the development of protein derived from bacterial sources.

“There are a lot or researchers and entrepreneurs involved in this field globally. Several projects are looking to generate high value protein for feed through a bacterial fermentation process using low value agricultural crop residues such as straw as a substrate,”​ he added. 

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