Oterra acquires India’s Akay Group

The world’s widest portfolio of natural colors gets even stronger
Oterra acquires India’s Akay Group
Photo - valeria_aksakova

Oterra, the world’s leading supplier of natural colors, further strengthens its core offerings with the acquisition of Akay Group, a prominent natural ingredients manufacturer.

Founded in India in 1995, Akay Group is a leading player in the natural colors and nutraceutical ingredients industry.

The acquisition, Oterra’s fourth in only 14 months, is a win-win for both parties. Oterra will not only strengthen its access to natural colors but also to an attractive product pipeline backed by state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and strong R&D capabilities.

“Akay is a great strategic match for Oterra. It adds to Oterra’s best-known core-strength – natural colors, and its portfolio of nutraceutical products complements Oterra’s existing portfolio of products for natural dietary supplements. The demand for all-natural products in this market is on the rise – and so is Oterra,” said Cees de Jong, Chairman of Oterra.

Based in Kerala, India’s spice hub, Akay serves over 40 countries, has four manufacturing sites in southern India and employs more than 400 people.

Oterra’s acquisition of Akay is an exciting step in its future, according to Dr. Balu Maliakel, managing director, AKAY.

“We’re very happy to join the Oterra family. We have a fond shared history, that has left a significant imprint on our business understanding and culture, and we share many of the same values. I am very confident that Oterra’s innovative mindset will bring great value to Akay’s customers. In many ways, this is like a homecoming for us” said Dr. Balu Maliakel.

The two companies have a long-standing connection. Oterra, previously known as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors before its purchase in 2021, was in 1995, part of a joint manufacturing venture with Akay to produce natural colors from turmeric and paprika. From 2007, Akay continued as an independent company, but Oterra and Akay have kept close ties with each other since Akay is a key supplier to Oterra.

“In recent years, Akay has successfully transitioned from a pure colors and flavors business to a leading science-backed botanical ingredients business. We both believe in bringing the best of nature to the world, and we’re happy to welcome the team at Akay to Oterra. We look forward to working together to serve our customers in the future,” said Odd Erik Hansen, chief executive officer, Oterra.

This transaction was signed in July 2022 and is subject to regulatory approval. Investec served as the exclusive financial advisor to Akay Group and its existing shareholders. JSA served as legal counsel to Akay Group. Rothschild&Co acted as financial advisor, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Accura as legal advisors, Alvarez&Marsal as operations and compliance advisor, KPMG as financial and tax advisor, PWC as tax advisors, and Bain&Company acted as commercial advisors to Oterra and EQT.

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