Ingredients and fats supplier AAK has acquired 80% of Soya International to expand its ingredient portfolio with speciality lecithins. The deal resulted in a put/call option that means AAK could acquire the remaining 20% of Soya International within the next 2-5 years.
UK-based Soya International is a food ingredients supplier focused on soy derived ingredients such as proteins, lecithins and vegetable-based emulsifiers. The independent company is particularly committed to the sourcing, processing and distribution of certified non-GMO semi-speciality and speciality lecithins, offering a range of lecithin products in liquid, powder and organic form.
Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and by-product from the processing of vegetable oils such as soy, sunflower and rapeseed. According to Soya International, lecithin provides multiple health benefits essential to the cells of the body, such as improving metabolism, muscle movement and liver function.
Johan Westman, president and CEO of AAK said: “Lecithin is a key ingredient for many customers within our core segments, especially chocolate & confectionery fats and bakery, but also dairy, special nutrition, and personal care.
“By expanding our portfolio with this value-adding ingredient, we will further enhance our co-development capabilities and be able to create even better solutions in close collaboration with our customers globally.”
Soya International’s products are currently available in more than 40 countries and will continue to extend further due to AAK’s global sales network. Following the deal, co-founder of Soya International Sonny Arora will remain managing director while the business will trade under the new name, AAK Soya International Ltd.
Arora said: “AAK shares our vision of achieving growth by focusing on key industry trends and we’re excited to continue on this journey, driven by a new, dedicated leadership team.”
This recent acquisition is AAK’s latest movement in expanding and will apparently provide an opportunity to simplify its operations by sourcing lecitihin from one supplier.
AAK’s development in its ingredient portfolio follows several product launches such as Cobao Pure coca butter and Akospread, as well as the release of AkoPlanet, a new portfolio of solutions for food manufacturers developing plant-based alternatives.
Marco Oomen, the global business director of chocolate & confectionery fats at AAK, said: “Our ambition is to be one of the world’s leading non-GMO lecithin suppliers, with a focus on value-adding speciality products. The establishment of AAK Soya International gives us a major foothold to do this and it’s a perfect strategic fit with AAK’s speciality oils & fats portfolio.”