Germany's JRS buys French seaweed processor Algaia

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Parradee Kietsirikul
© GettyImages/Parradee Kietsirikul

Related tags seaweed

Algaia, a French producer of seaweed-based products, has been sold to J Rettenmaier & Söhne (JRS), a German fiber and hydrocolloid specialist. The newly merged seaweed group is targeting the food, feed, agriculture, and pharma sectors

The deal was finalized on March 22, 2023.

JRS and Algaia both harvest and process seaweed along the Atlantic coast of Brittany, one of the largest fresh seaweed fields in Europe.

The firms say this amalgamation will enable them to meet the growing global demand for renewable and biodegradable solutions for a wide range of industries such as food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.

The French company's alginates can be used in food processing applications, and also as binders and thickening agents in pet food, while JRS says its alginate products can be used in fish feed to support pellet stability and lower pollution in culture ponds, among a range of other industrial applications.

Seaweed farming project

Algaia is one of the participants in a seaweed farm project funded by Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund and located between offshore wind turbines; it is known as North Sea Farm 1.

Led by North Sea Farmers, the project sits off the coast of the Netherlands and is designed to test and improve methods of seaweed farming. It will also support research on seaweed’s potential to store carbon.

“Algaia is looking forward to bringing its long-term innovation and business expertise in hydrocolloids and agri-ingredients as well as its proprietary biorefinery know-how to JRS. We are confident that the newly formed organisation will answer the fast-growing demand for seaweed-based products,” said Frédéric Faure, Algaia’s CEO.

“The acquisition of Algaia enables far-reaching synergies with our existing alginate business. JRS is fully committed to ensuring business continuity, to develop both production sites and to support the local sustainable harvest and utilization of fresh seaweed sources in Brittany," said Josef Otto Rettenmaier, JRS Group president. 

Oghma Partners acted as the financial adviser to Algaia on its sale to JRS.

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