DENMARK – Chr. Hansen, a leading ingredients supplier for the food, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, is set to become part of biotechnology company Novozymes what will be the biggest ever merger between two Danish food companies.

While both companies’ main business is producing enzymes, Chr. Hansen focuses more on enzymes and microbials for the food sector, while Novozymes’ largest business areas include enzymes for household products, food and beverages and biofuels.

The merger is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2023, creating a new group with annual revenues of approximately 3.5 billion euros (US$3.7 billion), the companies said.

After completion of the merger, Novozymes free float shareholders will own in aggregate 44% of the total share capital of the combined group, Chr. Hansen free float shareholders will own 34% and Novo Holdings will own 22%.

 

Novozymes and Chr. Hansen share the strong conviction that our combined scale, know-how, commercial strengths, and innovation excellence will drive value for our shareholders, customers, and society at large by providing the sustainable solutions the world so urgently needs

Ester Baiget, Novozymes CEO

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Within four years of the completion of the merger, the companies expect an impact on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 80-90 million euros and cost synergies of the same amount within three years.

Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget and Chief Finance Officer Lars Green will continue in their positions in the combined group.

“Novozymes and Chr. Hansen share the strong conviction that our combined scale, know-how, commercial strengths, and innovation excellence will drive value for our shareholders, customers, and society at large by providing the sustainable solutions the world so urgently needs,” Baiget said.

The companies said they expect the new group to post organic revenue growth of 6-8% until 205, beyond which the ambition will be “to continue to deliver accelerated sustainable growth from the underlying business coupled with new, and de-risked, innovation and growth opportunities.”

Novo Holdings A/S, the largest shareholder in both Novozymes and Chr. Hansen, has affirmed its confidence in the two companies being a perfect match.

It further noted that the transaction would create a global leader in biosolutions that would capitalize on attractive growth opportunities while serving societal needs.

Novo Holdings has said it will vote in favor of the merger at upcoming extraordinary general meetings of both Novozymes and Chr. Hansen, set to take place during the first half of 2023.

Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, Chairman of Novozymes, added: “We are excited by the immense, additional potential we see in joining Novozymes and Chr. Hansen to create a true global biosolutions leader underpinned by our shared Danish heritage.

We are grateful to have such a supportive shareholder in Novo Holdings, one that shares our belief that the two companies will be even better together and enable significant shareholder value accretion.”

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