USA— Cargill has announced it has signed a binding agreement to acquire Delacon, a leading expert in plant-based phytogenic feed additives, citing the need to support its feed customers in this growing space as one of the motivations for the purchase.

The term phytogenic feed additive was coined by Delacon’s founders in the 1980s. Phytogenics are standardized, specific and science-based combinations of bioactive compounds found in plants, said Cargill.

They not only have a positive effect on nutrient digestibility, performance, support resilience but also contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

Located in Austria, Delacon operates one of the largest industry-owned trial sites for phytogenic research. Markus Dedl, Delacon’s CEO, said the acquisition will enlarge Delacon’s scope for future innovations and make phytogenic feed additives more available globally.

The two parties have already been collaborating on the development of such products for the past 5 years. The acquisition will grow the global presence and distribution of both organizations, adding nearly 150 employees to Cargill’s health technologies business, spanning more than 25 countries around the world.

Multiple market trends are creating growth opportunities for phytogenic producers, Stéphane Jolain, chief business officer, Delacon, told Feednavigator.

Market demands have changed, the more targeted and specific a solution can be, the better the overall response will be,” he said.

Key to Delacon’s growth strategy in recent years has been the development of products across species, and for the various life stages.

Jolain noted that there is a heightened focus in the market on animal health and welfare, while sustainability is also a huge driver in the industry, with greater feed efficiency and the reduction in the use of raw materials, as well as the pressure to lower emissions from livestock farming.

With the addition of Delacon’s plant-based phytogenic products, Cargill is further committed to research, innovation, sustainability, and collaboration in the digestive and immune health space.

Although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the acquisition is expected to close in mid-2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

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