Kerry acquires German and Mexican biotechnology companies

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotostorm
© GettyImages/fotostorm

Related tags: Kerry, Enzyme, xylanase, grains

Ingredients group, Kerry, confirms it has acquired Mexico-based enzyme manufacture, Enmex, and that it has also reached agreement to buy German biotechnology company, c-LEcta.

The two "significant"​ biotechnology acquisitions will expand its expertise, technology portfolio and production proficiency, said the Tralee, Ireland headquartered group.

Kerry is paying out nearly €200m in total on the deals, with it set to acquire about 92% of the issued share capital of c-LEcta for €137m (US$155.5m). The management of that biotech firm will retain the balance of the share capital. 

Enmex was acquired by Kerry in December 2021 for €62m. Founded in 1972, it is an enzyme manufacturer, supplying multiple bio-process solutions for food, beverage, and animal nutrition markets. 

The Mexican company has a long history of partnering with global customers. Kerry said Enmex’s complementary enzyme portfolio and strong manufacturing infrastructure will extend the group’s fermentation and enzyme manufacturing capabilities into Latin America.

Regarding the acquisition of Enmex, Neil Cracknell, CEO of Kerry Applied Health and Nutrition, said: “Enzymes are increasingly playing a vital role as biocatalysts in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, where they deliver many benefits including improved product quality, increased process efficiency, and reduced food waste, through both minimization of waste and valorization of waste streams. This strategic acquisition of Enmex will complement Kerry’s existing enzyme portfolio and build on our strength in enzymes for modifying cereals and grains.”

Feed applications

Enmex’s animal nutrition orientated portfolio includes, among others, a xylanase that is designed to hydrolyze non-starch polysaccharides, to maximize the nutrient availability of cereals with a high fiber content, with the aim of improving the digestibility of monogastric diets, and a bacterial protease that is able to withstand high temperatures such as those linked to the feed pelleting process.

Based in Leipzig, Germany, and employing over 100 people, c-LEcta specializes in precision fermentation, optimized bioprocessing and biotransformation for the creation of high-value targeted enzymes and ingredients. It serves the feed, food and beverage markets as well as the pharmaceutical sector.

c-LEcta’s portfolio includes a nuclease product - a genetically engineered enzyme from Serratia marcescens​, produced by a patented process based on GRAS Bacillus sp. strain. In the food or feed sector, according to the producer, its applications are manifold.

“NuCLEANase enables the efficient removal of DNA in food and feed enzymes as well as other fermentation products, thus ensuring their compliance with the relevant regulatory guidelines. Likewise, NuCLEANase can boost animal growth by increasing the bioavailability of nucleotides in animal feed.”  

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