Special Edition: Ruminant nutrition

Neovia buys French ruminant and horse speciality feed player, confirms Brazilian deal

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/BsWei
© istock/BsWei

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Neovia moves to shore up its position on the specialty nutrition market globally by acquiring Agranix, a French producer of nutritional products for ruminants and horses. 

"It is a deal which gives us new technology - cold granulation and bolus - and provides plenty of potential for synergies in the equine segment in France, where we are the leader, and in Mexico and Brazil, where we hold strong positions.

"The new feed technology will also be useful for the ruminant segment, particularly for dairy cattle in France, where we are one of the key players, and in other markets as well. However, it is not a major deal in financial terms, Agranix is a small scale producer,"​ Matthieu Leroy, head of projects, Neovia, told us.

Agranix, based in the Aquitaine region of south-western France, is focused on the design and manufacture of boluses, compressed mixtures of prepared powders, intended for cattle, that are said to slow the dissolution of trace elements in the rumen. It has nutritional products targeted at the equine segment as well. 

two cows in field
Deal will bolster its standing in the ruminant feed segment in France and internationally, claims Neovia. © istock

It started operations in 1999, and has a production site and a warehouse located in the Lot-et-Garonne. Agranix CEO, Denis Savy, said the company will benefit from Neovia's scale, operational organization and expertise in purchasing raw materials while also gaining access to new commercial networks.  

Value-added innovation 

Neovia [formerly InVivo NSA] said the acquisition will also help it defend the competitiveness of French livestock farmers and feed manufacturers, both huge agribusiness sectors in that country, but both experiencing massive volatility currently. "In France, it is still possible to make a difference through value added products and through innovation,"​ said Leroy. 

He said Neovia will continue to look for potential asset targets in the speciality ingredient sector both in France, other European markets and elsewhere. "This segment and add on services such as lab analysis will be the growth driver in the coming years in this industry,"​ added Leroy. 

Brazil acquisition finalized 

He also said the acquisition of Brazilian animal nutrition player, Nutrizon, by the French group has been completed. Neovia announced it was interested in buying the company in September 2016 but that it was awaiting regulatory approval by the competition authorities there. "That has now been confirmed,"​ said Leroy. The deal sees it gain a greater foothold in the aquaculture, pet food, and ruminant segments there, while supporting its export activity in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador through strategically located production sites.

Neovia also inaugurated an animal nutrition manufacturing plant in Texcoco in Mexico in September last year. That facility produces feed for pork, poultry, aquaculture, ruminants and horses, while the group, that same month, revealed plans to build a major new facility in the Veracruz state in 2018. 

Meanwhile, in October last year, Neovia acquired South African premix manufacturer, Pennville. And, in May, it signed a deal with Evialis India to provide Unibait Feed with premix and added value services for the production of premium shrimp feed in India.

Rebranding exercise

At EuroTier 2016 in Hannover in November, François Fernandez, director of Neovia’s premix business brand told us the rebranding of the division as Wisium, a move announced at the trade show, was an attempt to boost that division’s international standing.

The company is in the top five premix producers globally but has ambitions to climb up a few rungs on the ladder:

“In Spain and France, we are number one in feed premix and farm management services. Now, we want to apply the same approach we use in those countries to other markets, extending our footprint globally by leveraging our international know how and network. 

mergers jauhari1 istock
Neovia has growth ambitions for premix division, expanding via acquisition and heightened service provision internationally © istock/jauhari1

“We will apply our expertise in nutrition and technical support on farm, along with our market knowledge and analysis, our proficiency in quality control and training and our tailored formulation capacity to the agri-business segment in Africa and Asia and Latin America to ensure animal performance gains for end users,” ​said Fernandez.

Neovia said it intends to target integrators, feed mills, home mixers and specialized distributors in those regions with its premix portfolio.

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