IRELAND – Kerry Group has announced its intention to acquire Biosearch Life, a Spanish company that sells probiotic products made from human breast milk, for a total consideration of €126.94 million (about US$153.14 million).
Based in Granada, Biosearch Life operates in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and functional food sectors and has over 150 employees.
The Spanish biotechnology company offers a range of products in three primary areas: omega-3 fatty acids, botanical extracts and probiotics (with many obtained from human breast milk) under the respective brands, Eupoly-3, Exxentia and Hereditum.
Biosearch Life’s ingredients are distributed across Europe, Asia and the US and can be used in a variety of applications such as dairy products, baby food, beverages and bakery products.
Grupo Lactalis Iberia – the main shareholder of Biosearch Life – has irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer in respect of its 29.5% stake in the company.
Under the terms of the agreement, the public tender offer is for 57.7 million shares valued at €2.20 per share, reaching a total consideration of €126.94 million.
The deal is addressed to all of Biosearch’s shareholders and is subject to the approval of the Spanish National Securities Markets Commission.
The voluntary tender offer by Kerry Iberia Taste & Nutrition for 100% of the share capital of Biosearch Life follows the group’s acquisition of Canadian probiotics company, Bio-K Plus International.
After coming under sharp criticism, chief executive of Kerry Group Mr. Edmond Scanlon defended the company’s acquisition strategy, insisting it “has generated significant shareholder value”.
Mr Scanlon said investors had actively encouraged and supported the company on its acquisition strategy.
“The acquisitions that you’ve seen in the last year and the acquisition that we announced yesterday [the company bought Spanish probiotic group Biosearch Life] will continue to be part of our strategy,” he said.
Mr Scanlon was speaking after Kerry published an update on its business performance, which pointed to a decline in revenue and profit last year but a return to growth in the final quarter of the year.
In preliminary results for 2020, the Irish-listed group said revenue was down 4 per cent at €7 billion (about US$8.45 billion) while its trading profit fell to €797 million (about US$ 961.59 million) from €903 million (about US$1.089 billion) in 2019.
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