Chr. Hansen and Novozymes merge in largest Danish deal on record
12 Dec 2022 --- Bioscience players Novozymes and Chr. Hansen are merging in a deal that will result in the dissolution of the latter by the fourth quarter of 2023. The new company is expected to post annual revenues upwards of €3.5 billion (US$3.7 billion).
The deal represents the largest merger ever between two Danish companies. Chr. Hansen is a developer of agricultural, pharmaceutical and food ingredients, while Novozymes is the largest provider of microbial technologies and enzymes in the world.
“The combination of two strategically complementary companies with a shared purpose and advanced capabilities will show the world the true power of biosolutions,” says Ester Baiget, CEO of Novozymes. “Today’s announcement is fully aligned with Novozymes’ strategy and is another step toward unlocking additional growth opportunities.”
“I’m proud to share that Novozymes and Chr. Hansen are proposing to join forces to create a Danish-based global biosolutions partner based on our strong complementary technology platforms, highly dedicated employees and customer-centric approaches,” adds Mauricio Graber, president and CEO of Chr. Hansen.
“Building on shared purpose-driven values and cultures, as well as an unquestionable business rationale, the proposed combination of these two iconic Danish companies represents a natural next step toward addressing the needs of tomorrow.”
The largest shareholder of both companies, Novo Holdings, said that it will vote in the merger’s favor at the upcoming general meetings of the two companies scheduled for the first half of 2023.
Once the merger is completed, Novo Holdings will own 22%, Chr. Hansen’s free float shareholders will own 35% and Novozymes’ free float shareholders will own 44% of the combined group’s total shared capital. The new group is predicted to post an organic revenue of growth of 6-8% through to 2025.
“The two companies are a perfect match, Chr. Hansen with its expertise in microbials and Novozymes with its background in enzymes,” says Lars Rebien Sørensen, chairman of Novo Holdings and the Novo Nordisk Foundation. “Combining the two companies will create a global leader in biosolutions.”
“As long-term shareholders in both Novozymes and Chr. Hansen, we are in full support of the plans to combine the two companies,” adds Kasim Kutay, CEO of Novo Holdings. “Due to our strong belief in the commercial, strategic, and long-term financial merits of this transaction, we are willing to accept a less favorable exchange ratio for our shares in Chr. Hansen than what is offered to other shareholders.”
Market growth opportunities
Novozymes estimates the current market for biological solutions like those offered by the two companies to be around €15 billion (US$15.8 billion) and expanding, with the World Economic Forum predicting a three-fold expansion by 2040.
“With this proposed combination, we are jointly creating a leading biosolutions partner dedicated to securing a healthy planet and a more sustainable future,” underscores Dominique Reiniche, chair of the Chr. Hansen Board of Directors.
“The combined business offers a great opportunity to pursue attractive synergies by creating new solutions for the benefit of our customers and consumers, and will create value for all our shareholders as well as for society,” she concludes.
Edited by William Bradford Nichols
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