Owning a distribution business in China has long been part of our expansion plan, states CEO
Barentz International has announced that, following its recent capital injection to accelerate growth, it has acquired New Skyport, a leading distributor of specialty ingredients for the food and nutrition industry in China.
Barentz, a leading international food ingredients distributor, calls this acquisition in China a logical step in the strong expansion of Barentz. It needs no explanation that China is a very interesting market with its population of 1.4 billion consumers and a rapidly expanding middle class.
The demand for specialty food ingredients follows consumer demand for more sophisticated food and nutrition products. The Chinese consumer is more and more concerned with health and the quality of food products, enabling a good market for high quality specialised food ingredients.
Being the main distributor of the Roquette Freres products in China, New Skyport has a leading position with major manufacturers of food products in China. Headquartered in Shanghai, with four branch offices across the Chinese East coast and one inland, New Skyport services customers in the food, beverage, confectionary, nutrition, supplements, health and well-being sectors across China.
For Barentz International, headquartered in the Netherlands and active in close to 50 countries across three continents, the acquisition of New Skyport is strategically important, with China playing an important role in food production being one of the largest economies in the world.
Mr Hidde van der Wal, CEO of Barentz International, explains: 'This acquisition adds to the worldwide presence of Barentz and accelerates our growth. Owning a distribution business in China has long been part of our expansion plan. With almost 30 people on staff in Shanghai, Dalian, Tianjin, Quingdao, Guangzhao and Chengdu, we will be able to serve a large customer base. Being close to ports where our ingredients come in from Europe will be an advantage for our customers, who can be served from our different warehouses in short lead times. We intend to also expand our supplier base in China and add some of the principals we have been working with in Europe, so we can serve our customers in China even better.'
Mr Jinrong Huang, current Managing Director of New Skyport, explains: 'These six cities, in which New Skyport is active, have a combined population of 100 million people, which is already larger than any single European market. Barentz, with their expertise of food applications and access to ingredients from reputable European and American suppliers, can help local Chinese producers increase the quality of their products, enabling them to grow their local business.'
Barentz traditionally has a strong position in specialty ingredients and nutritional and functional blends. In terms of innovations in specialties, Barentz offers specialty fibres, phosphates, novel proteins as well as (natural) sweeteners and salt replacers, just to mention a few. It also has a solid position in fortification blends for infant and medical nutrition in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Hidde van der Wal continues: 'Part of the synergy of this acquisition lies with our daughter company Vitablend. It is well known that Chinese customers are buying high quality, safe baby food products in Europe. From our Vitablend factory in Singapore we can supply local Chinese infant nutrition manufacturers with high quality blends to use in their local brands.'
Barentz will take over the management of the New Skyport business during the next couple of months and will operate under the legal entity Barentz (Shanghai) Trading Company Co. Ltd. Mrs Dongmei Chen, who has been working for Barentz in Germany, will be leading the operations in China. Representing world class suppliers of ingredients, Barentz is active on three continents in 50 countries with around 700 people.