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Chr. Hansen Natural Colors A/S, an EQT portfolio company, announces new company name and identity following the move to a standalone company.

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors A/S, the leading provider of natural colors with the widest natural color portfolio in the industry, has announced the company will be known as Oterra™, effective immediately, and will begin the process to operate under the new name.

The new name, Oterra, is inspired by the Latin word for earth. The rebranding reflects the company’s commitment to provide the world with colors from natural sources, and contribute to food that is natural, authentic, safe and sustainable. The company’s ownership and staff have not changed.

CEO, Odd Erik Hansen stated “We have been producing natural colors for more than 145 years now – our new name and brand identity are rooted in this proud heritage and reflect our belief that nature provides the best ingredients. We help our customers meet the increasing global consumer demand for natural products by utilizing the power of nature’s true colors and our unrivalled expertise in colors for food, beverage and pet food.”

The new name is the latest in a string of announcements for the company which was acquired by investment organization EQT in 2021. In April 2021 the company announced its first strategic investment with the acquisition of SECNA Natural Ingredients Group S.L., a move which supports EQT’s strong growth plans for the company.

Cees de Jong, Oterra Board Chairman, commented, “The board is very excited about the relaunch as Oterra – a name and identity that encapsulates our purpose and sustainable value proposition. We see great growth ahead for Oterra and are confident the company will accelerate its development under its new brand.”

For more information visit oterra.com.

Despite more challenging growth conditions Chr. Hansen delivers a strong EBIT margin and a healthy cash flow, while also making significant progress on key strategic priorities

CEO Mauricio Graber says: “2018/19 was a solid year for Chr. Hansen, although it was not without its challenges as tougher market conditions especially in emerging markets made it more difficult to grow to the level of our ambition. We ended the year with 7 % organic growth for the group, at the low end of the guidance provided in June. However, we are satisfied that we delivered well on the financial targets for EBIT margin and free cash flow that we set at the beginning of the year, with EBIT margin before special items reaching 29.6 % and 17 % growth in free cash flow before acquisitions and special items. For the full year, Food Cultures & Enzymes delivered solid organic growth of 8 %, while Health & Nutrition delivered 9 % and Natural Colors delivered 3 %. In Q4, organic growth came down as expected for all three business areas, as we continued to see macroeconomic challenges in emerging markets, primarily impacting Food Cultures & Enzymes and Natural Colors.

We made very good progress on our strategic priorities: Plant Health had a very strong year in Latin America, and is set to have another strong year, selling in both Latin America and North America. We’ve reached an important milestone for our Human Microbiome lighthouse with the Bacthera joint venture, and while bioprotection did not have a very strong year, it still delivered double-digit growth, and we are confident in the commercial pipeline and have accelerated the development of the 3rd generation technology.

We have a cautious outlook for 2019/20, given the market challenges we are facing. After a first quarter with flat to low-single digit growth, we expect to improve the momentum in Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition for the rest of the year to end at 4-8 % organic growth for the group, with an EBIT margin on par with 2018/19 and an improved operating cash flow.

Over the next six months, we will conduct our biennial review of the Nature’s no. 1 strategy and will present the results at a Capital Markets Day in April 2020. Given our strong belief in the opportunities inherent in the strategy, fundamental changes from our focus on microbial and natural solutions produced via fermentation should not be expected. Until then, our business focus in 2019/20 will be to improve on our execution of the strategy.”

Chr. Hansen delivers solid half-year result of 9 % organic growth and maintains overall outlook for the full year.The growth comes from all business areas: Food Cultures & Enzymes 10 %, Health & Nutrition 11 % and Natural Colors 5 %

Solid organic revenue growth of 9 % in the first half of 2018/19: Food Cultures & Enzymes 10 %, Health & Nutrition 11 % and Natural Colors 5 %. EBIT before special items increased by 10 % to EUR 150 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 27.0 % up 0.8 %-point compared to last year. In Q2, organic growth was 8 %, and EBIT before special items increased by 11 %. The overall outlook for 2018/19 remains unchanged.

CEO Mauricio Graber says: “We continued the solid momentum, with Food Cultures & Enzymes delivering strong organic growth with an increasing contribution from volume in Q2, which was in line with our expectations. Towards the end of Q2, we launched CHY-MAX® Supreme, a truly innovative enzyme which raises the bar for what cheesemakers can expect from coagulants. Organic growth in Health & Nutrition was solid and with a more balanced growth contribution between Human Health and Animal Health compared to what we saw in Q1, although livestock farming economics in North America remain challenging. Yesterday, we announced a joint-venture with Lonza AG, which marks a quantum leap for Chr. Hansen’s Human Microbiome lighthouse and which will create a global pioneer and partner of choice for production of live biotherapeutic products. In Natural Colors we secured important conversions in North America, but this was to some extent offset by weaker demand from Latin America in particular.”

“Our EBIT margin before special items in the first half of the year increased by 0.8 %-point and was driven by improved margins in all business areas. In FC&E, we achieved a gross margin benefit of more than 1 %-point from the ramp up of the new capacity in our facility in Copenhagen, which more than offsets the increasing investments we are making in the business. We continue to pursue strong and profitable organic growth while also investing significantly for the future.

“The progress in the first half year makes us confident about our overall outlook, which is maintained and in line with our long-term financial ambition.”

This latest expansion follows a recent announcement of a major investment in Milwaukee to create a new Natural Colors site in the US, including expanded laboratory and production capabilities.

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors purchased the site in Montpellier 18 years ago. Since then, the site has grown to become the company’s main R&D center for natural colors & coloring foodstuffs.

The expansion and upgrade of the facilities will start as soon as September 2018, with the full new building and site upgrade finalized by November 2019.

The building capacity will house additional employees on site and the laboratory space will be more than double what it is today. The new building will include a modern show room for welcoming customers – both for training or development work in the laboratories.

Chr. Hansen Holding A/S has entered into an agreement with Klaus Bjerrum to take up the position as Executive Vice President of Natural Colors Division

Klaus Bjerrum is currently employed as Senior Vice President, Operations, at CP Kelco and will join Chr. Hansen in his new role as of 1 August 2018.

Klaus Bjerrum (49) has been with CP Kelco for the past 19 years where he has been in global and regional roles within several functions (Operations, R&D, Business Management and Sales). Since 2015 he has been part of the Executive Leadership Team, reporting to the CEO.

Klaus Bjerrum holds an MSc in Foods Science & Technology from The Royal Danish Veterinary & Agricultural University, and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, International Trade, Copenhagen Business School. In addition, Klaus is educated Diploma Master Brewer from the Scandinavian School of Brewing.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and Frutarom announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which IFF will acquire Frutarom in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $7.1 billion, including the assumption of Frutarom’s net debt. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Frutarom’s shareholders will receive for each Frutarom share $71.19 in cash and 0.249 of a share of IFF common stock, which, based on the 10-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) for IFF’s common stock for the period ending May 4, 2018, represents a total value of $106.25 per share.

By combining with Frutarom, IFF is accelerating its Vision 2020 strategy to create a global leader in taste, scent and nutrition. The combination unites two industry-leading, innovative companies with complementary customers, capabilities and geographic reach, resulting in more exposure to fast growing end markets and an enhanced platform to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. The combined company’s customers will have access to comprehensive and differentiated integrated solutions with increased focus on naturals and health and wellness.

Frutarom is a flavors, savory solutions and natural ingredients company, with production and development centers on six continents. It markets and sells over 70,000 products to more than 30,000 customers in over 150 countries. Frutarom is primarily focused on natural products, which drive more than 75 % of its sales. Frutarom’s product portfolio consists of innovative and integrated solutions combining taste and health, natural and clean label products. In addition, Frutarom mainly serves local and mid-size customers, and has a compelling presence in fast-growing adjacent and complementary categories such as natural colors, health and beauty ingredients, natural food protection and enzymes. Frutarom has a strong track record of growth, with expected sales of above $1.6 billion in 2018, and their previously announced target of $2.25 billion in sales by 2020.

Bioprotection continues to show impressive momentum

Chr. Hansen reports strong organic revenue growth of 10 % in the first three months of 2017/18: Food Cultures & Enzymes 12 %, Health & Nutrition 10 % and Natural Colors 4 %. EBIT before special items decreased by 1 % to EUR 65 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 25.4 %. The overall outlook for 2017/18 is unchanged.

CEO Cees de Jong says: “We have had a solid start to the year, with Food Cultures & Enzymes’ organic growth better than expected. Sales of bioprotective solutions continue to show impressive momentum, and this is still without any significant impact from the second-generation FreshQ® products that we launched at the beginning of this financial year. We have also introduced ProKids®, an innovative product concept for a children’s drinking yogurt containing our LGG® probiotic strain. As expected, organic sales growth in Natural Colors was below our long-term ambition.

“Our EBIT margin before special items in Q1 was lower than last year, mainly due to the sale of a property in Argentina in Q1 2016/17, adverse currency impacts and costs related to starting up our new production capacity in Copenhagen. The new capacity is producing ahead of schedule, and we expect to see improving margins from this toward the end of the financial year.

“We are encouraged by the solid start to the year, and we maintain our overall guidance for the full year. We increase our expectations to organic growth for Food Cultures & Enzymes to be even stronger and above the long term 7 – 8 % growth target that we have for this business. At the same time, we lower our expectations to organic growth in Health & Nutrition for the full year to be below our long term guidance for this business due to the challenging market conditions in North America.”

Read the full report here.