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Novozymes merger with Chr. Hansen, strengthens Biotechnology Leadership in East Africa



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Danish biotechnology firm Novozymes, which expanded its East Africa presence in 2019 with the opening of its Nairobi office, has successfully concluded its merger with Chr. Hansen.

This is the biggest announcement for Novozymes since its entry in Kenya in June 2019 to provide market-leading biological solutions including industrial enzymes and microorganisms for a broad range of industries like household care, brewing, baking, and bio-agriculture.

One of its solutions makes bread stay fresh for longer with a considerable impact on food waste.  Chr. Hansen, on the other hand, has been operational since 1874 and supplies bacteria cultures, probiotics, enzymes, and human milk oligosaccharides, components that Novozymes requires for its production.

The merged entity, known as Novonesis, finalized the process after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals and completing registrations, including the final step with the Danish Business Authority. With a global workforce of 10,000, including a presence in Kenya, Novonesis now boasts expertise across 30 diverse industries. The combined group will operate a global network of R&D and application centers as well as manufacturing sites.

Among other priorities, Novonesis aims to play a leading role in generating climate-friendly food products through solutions that replace chemicals in agriculture to support healthier and more sustainable diets, lower raw material usage, and reduce CO2 emissions.

“We have successfully combined Novozymes and Chr. Hansen and today we come together as one leading global biosolutions partner. Novonesis combines our joint strengths and the wonders of biology, and we are set to lead a new era of biosolutions. We will innovate and develop transformative biosolutions that improve the way we all produce, consume, and live. And we have gathered the brightest minds and together with my 10,000 colleagues, we will unlock the limitless potential of biosolutions,” said Noveniss President and CEO, Ester Baiget. 

Cees de Jong, Chairman of Novonesis, added:

“I am pleased to witness the realization of the Novozymes and Chr. Hansen’s combination, creates a true global biosolutions leader. We will continue to create powerful biosolutions for our customers and partners based on our more than 100 years of innovation and application expertise. Together, we will serve as a growth partner to our customers; a value creator to our shareholders; and a company that has a significant, positive impact on society and the planet. Novonesis builds on a shared heritage of sustainability leadership and will keep leading the way.”

With a broad biological toolbox and a diversified portfolio in attractive markets, Novonesis is now actively supporting businesses worldwide in addressing both commercial requirements and environmental sustainability. The combined group will have annual revenues of approximately EUR 3.7 billion[1] with solid profitability and cash generation. Half of the portfolio will focus on enabling healthier lives and producing better foods. The other half will address reducing chemical use and targeting climate-neutral practices.


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