Lesaffre acquires a majority shareholding in the Italian company Gnosis


As part of its ongoing expansion strategy in nutrition and health, Lesaffre announces a majority participation in Gnosis

Founded in 1989 by biotechnology engineer Aldo Basseti and managed by Renzo Berna, Gnosis has experienced strong growth since its inception. It now possesses skill and specialist expertise in microbial fermentation and in recovering and purifying molecules derived from yeasts and bacteria.

Gnosis has registered more than 40 patents in more than 60 countries. The company has two GMP production sites (Sant Antonino in Switzerland and Pisticci in Italy) and two commercial offices (USA and China). Its head office and R&D facility are based at Desio, near Milan. It employs more than 200 people. The estimated turnover in 2015 is €80 million (98% in export).

The Italian industrial family group, Maccaferri, acquired a significant shareholding in this company in 2002 to support its expansion. Wishing to refocus its business activity, particularly in the field of renewable energy, it has now decided to transfer all of its shares to Lesaffre.

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

Antoine Baule, Lesaffre's Chief Executive Officer, said: 'Lesaffre welcomes this acquisition, which is entirely in line with its strategic development objectives. We are pleased to contribute to the development of this company, and to build on the skills and expertise of the existing teams. The synergies that we will develop between Lesaffre and Gnosis will enable us to improve our production processes and offer products and services that are increasingly innovative and closely matched to customer and consumer needs.'

Aldo Basseti, founder of Gnosis, added: 'We are pleased to join forces with Lesaffre, a family company known and recognised internationally for its professionalism and the quality of its products and services. We thank the Macafferi group, which has provided us with unfailing support during its 13 years at our side, and has helped us to grow substantially. This new partnership will enable Gnosis to consolidate its position, and to move into a new phase in its growth.'

Massimo Maccaferri, Director, Maccaferri Group, concluded: 'The sale of our holding in Gnosis is in line with our strategy of refocusing on engineering, energy and construction activities. We have accepted Lesaffre's offer because we are convinced that this group will take this company even further forwards thanks to its expertise in biotechnologies.'

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Lesaffre was advised on the legal aspects of this operation by the firm Baker & McKenzie and on the financial aspects of the transaction by KPMG. S.E.C.I. was advised for this operation on financial aspects by Studio Gnudi and UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking, and by Studio Erba from Monza on the legal aspects.

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