Chr. Hansen, the Danish natural ingredients specialist, is selling its Natural Colours subsidiary to the EQT IX fund for €800 million.
Headquartered in Hørsholm, Natural Colours is a developer and manufacturer of natural colouring ingredients, serving over 1,600 customers in the food and beverages industry. It generated sales of €224 million in 2018/19.
Its products are made from all-natural fruit and vegetable concentrates from sweet potatoes, grape skin, spirulina, carrots and beetroots. They are primarily used within F&B applications where the conversion from artificial to natural colorants is highest, such as dairy- and fruit preparations, confectionary, ice cream, prepared foods and beverages.
EQT intends to build on the existing strategy of continued organic growth in current markets with a focus on the US and Asia. The fund will also support acquisitive expansion within the highly fragmented foods colouring market by utilising the Natural Colours platform for industry consolidation.
Moreover, EQT plans to invest significantly in the company’s organisation and strengthen its digital infrastructure, sustainability capabilities and supply chain setup.
“The divestment of the Natural Colours Division completes the Review part of our recently launched 2025 Strategy. Chr. Hansen can now focus on fulfilling the ambition of becoming a pure-play, microbial and fermentation company with industry leading, profitable growth,” said Mauricio Graber, CEO of Chr. Hansen.
“I am convinced EQT will be a great owner of the Natural Colours business which has a leading global position in the industry. During the process it has become clear that EQT showed the strongest conviction in the potential of the business, and the highest dedication to the future development of it.”
The transaction is expected to close in H1 2021.