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German Fiber Manufacturer JRS Acquires French Seaweed Producer Algaia

JRS's acquisition of Algaia enables far-reaching synergies and innovative seaweed-based solutions for global customers in food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and other industries.

J. Rettenmaier & Söhne (JRS), a German fiber and hydrocolloid specialist, has acquired Algaia SA, a French biomarine ingredients company and seaweed producer. The sale, which took effect on 22 March 2023, involved the transfer of 100% of Algaia’s share capital to JRS. Oghma Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Algaia on the sale. The sale price has not been disclosed.

JRS and Algaia harvest and process seaweed along the Atlantic coast of Brittany, France, in some of the largest seaweed fields in Europe. According to JRS group president Josef Otto Rettenmaier, the acquisition of Algaia will create far-reaching synergies with JRS’s existing alginate business, allowing the company to provide innovative seaweed-based solutions to its global customers.

Algaia manufacturing site

The partnership between the two firms will foster innovation to meet the increasing demand for seaweed across several industries, including food, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical care, home and personal care, and surface coating or agriculture.

Algaia CEO Frederic Faure expressed confidence that the new organization will answer the fast-growing demand for seaweed-based products and ensure sustainable growth to both sites. The acquisition will allow Algaia to bring its long-term innovation and business expertise in hydrocolloids and agri-ingredients, as well as its proprietary biorefinery know-how to JRS.

Algaia CEO with French President Emmanuel Macron

The acquisition marks a significant milestone in JRS’s bid to become a leading provider of innovative seaweed-based solutions. JRS is committed to ensuring business continuity and developing both production sites while supporting the local sustainable harvest and utilization of fresh seaweed sources in Brittany. The acquisition of Algaia also strengthens JRS’s position in the market and underlines its commitment to providing outstanding innovative seaweed-based solutions to its global customers.

The seaweed industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with the market expected to reach $26.8 billion by 2026, up from $13.3 billion in 2019, according to a report by Meticulous Research. The rising demand for plant-based products, coupled with seaweed's nutritional value and potential to be used as a natural thickening and gelling agent in various products, has contributed to the sector's growth.

JRS's acquisition of Algaia underscores the growing trend of mergers and acquisitions in the plant-based industry. It also highlights the increasing interest of companies in the potential of seaweed-based products to meet the growing demand for sustainable and plant-based alternatives.

The acquisition is expected to pave the way for the development of more innovative and sustainable seaweed-based solutions, further driving growth in the seaweed industry.



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