Lesaffre expands in fermentation with acquisition

by Josh Sosland
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Gnosis fermentation process
Gnosis specializes in the development, production and sale of fermentation ingredients for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and veterinary industries.

MARCQ-EN-BAROEUL, FRANCE — Lesaffre is broadening its position in the nutrition and health sectors with the acquisition of a majority stake in the Italian fermentation company Gnosis. Lesaffre purchased the position in Gnosis from the Italian industrial family group Maccaferri.

Established in 1989 by a biotechnology engineer, Gnosis specializes in the development, production and sale of fermentation ingredients for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and veterinary industries.

More specifically, Gnosis focuses on microbial fermentation and in the recovery and purification of molecules derived from yeasts and bacteria. The company has registered more than 40 patents, in more than 60 countries.

Gnosis operates two production facilities, one in Sant’ Antonino in Switzerland and the second in Pisticci in Italy. It has commercial offices in China and the United States. The company’s headquarters and research and development facilities are in Desio, about 15 miles north of Milan. The company has more than 200 employees.

Lesaffre estimated Gnosis annual sales at €80 million ($91 million).

 “With this operation, Lesaffre strengthens its presence and its offering in the fast-growing nutritional ingredients and human health sector,” the company said.

Antoine Baule, chief executive officer of Lesaffre, predicted that synergies with the acquired company will enable Lesaffre to improve production processes and offer more innovative products and services in line with customer needs.

Based in Marcq-en-Baroeul, 90 miles east of Normandy, France, Lesaffre’s operations includes a bakery ingredient business, supplying customers with ferments such as yeasts and sourdoughs and other bread-baking ingredients such as improvers, mixes, blends and milling correctors.
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