June 25, 2020 / 10:10 AM / 17 days ago

Novozymes buys Irish probiotic-maker PrecisionBiotics

COPENHAGEN, June 25 (Reuters) - Danish enzymes maker Novozymes will buy Irish-based PrecisionBiotics in a $91 million deal, it said on Thursday, the firm’s second acquisition of a probiotics company in recent years, as it seeks to grow its human health business.

Novozymes said it would partly finance the 600 million Danish crowns ($90.4 million) acquisition through cash and partly through bank facilities. It would not affect dividend payouts or share buy-back plans, it said.

Based in Cork, Ireland, PrecisionBiotics, which produces live bacteria, known as probiotics, which can improve gut health in animals and humans, is part of a $6 billion market for human probiotic supplements.

In a strategy revamp last year, Novozymes said it would focus on new businesses, such as developing probiotics to improve humans’ throat and gut health, building on an acquisition of German microbial research company Organobalance in 2016.

Novozymes’ largest business area is sales of enzymes to detergent makers such as Procter & Gamble and Henkel but the company also has divisions in food & beverages and bioenergy, such as making enzymes for ethanol production. ($1 = 6.5981 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by David Evans)

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