AAK snaps majority stake in lecithin producer Soya International

UK – Specialty ingredients supplier, AAK has acquired 80 percent shareholding in Soya International to expand its ingredient portfolio with speciality lecithins.

Soya International focuses on the sourcing, processing and distribution of semi-specialty and speciality lecithins offering a range of lecithin (a natural emulsifier and by-product from the processing of vegetable oils).

Soya International claims that lecithin provides multiple health benefits essential to the cells of the body, such as improving metabolism, muscle movement and liver function, reports FoodBev.

“Lecithin is a key ingredient for many customers within our core segments, especially chocolate & confectionery fats and bakery, but also dairy, special nutrition, and personal care,” said Johan Westman, president and CEO of AAK.

“By expanding our portfolio with this value-adding ingredient, we will further enhance our co-development capabilities and be able to create even better solutions in close collaboration with our customers globally.”

Following the deal, co-founder of Soya International Sonny Arora will remain managing director while the business will trade under the new name, AAK Soya International Ltd.

Arora said: “AAK shares our vision of achieving growth by focusing on key industry trends and we’re excited to continue on this journey, driven by a new, dedicated leadership team.”

Soya International’s products are currently available in more than 40 countries and will continue to extend further due to AAK’s global sales network.

This recent acquisition is AAK’s latest movement in expanding and will apparently provide an opportunity to simplify its operations by sourcing lecitihin from one supplier.

Marco Oomen, the global business director of chocolate & confectionery fats at AAK, said: “Our ambition is to be one of the world’s leading non-GMO lecithin suppliers, with a focus on value-adding speciality products.

“The establishment of AAK Soya International gives us a major foothold to do this and it’s a perfect strategic fit with AAK’s speciality oils & fats portfolio.”

The acquisition will be consolidated as of the date of announcing the deal and has no significant impact on AAK’s earnings.  AAK said that Acquisition-related costs will be charged to the third quarter 2019.

The deal resulted in a put/call option that means AAK could acquire the remaining 20% of Soya International within the next 2-5 years.

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