Kerry Group announces intent to acquire Spanish biotechnology company

Kerry Group plc has announced its intent to acquire the Spanish nutraceutical and functional food company Biosearch Life, making a €127 million bid.

Biosearch Life is based in Granada, Spain and employs over 150 people.

The company has a range of probiotics and is described as a “recognised leader in premium probiotics obtained from human breast milk (Hereditum brand), scientifically-backed innovative botanical extracts (Exxentia) and natural Omega-3 (Eupoly-3 brand)”.

In Kerry Group’s announcement, it says that the acquisition is subject to the approval of the Spanish National Securities Markets Commission and, upon its approval, to the acceptance of the offer by Biosearch Life’s shareholders.

Grupo Lactalis Iberia, main shareholder (29.5%) of Biosearch Life, has irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer.

Shares in Biosearch Life have increased over 40% to €2.12 since the announcement was made today (Monday, February 15). Kerry Group is offering €2.20 for shares.

Shares drop as research ‘report’ on business activity published

Last Thursday, shares in Kerry Group fell considerably after a report was circulated by short-seller Ontake Research, which criticised Kerry Group plc purchasing activities.

The report was refuted by Kerry Group, and is now no longer accessible online.

In its report, Ontake said that “rather than a sophisticated ‘Taste & Nutrition’ business, we view Kerry as a dairy and bulk ingredients supplier that overstates acquisition spend to mask inflated free cash flow”.

Kerry Group told AgriLand that the report “is full of errors, inaccuracies and incorrect deductions”.