Investments & Acquisitions

Canadian Yeast Specialist Lallemand Acquires Swiss Biotech Company Evolva

Lallemand Inc., a Canadian company specializing in yeast-based ingredients, has confirmed that its subsidiary Danstar Ferment AG has acquired Swiss biotech company Evolva AG.

Similarly to Lallemand, Evolva is focused on researching, developing, and commercializing natural yeast-derived ingredients. The company’s products are used in several sectors, including flavors and fragrances, health ingredients, cosmetics, and health protection.

“Evolva offers us a strong strategic fit with our yeast-based technology platform”

The transaction was announced to the Swiss Stock Exchange on November 21, and was confirmed by shareholders of Evolva Holding — Evolva’s previous parent company — at a general meeting on December 21. The initial purchase price is CHF 20 million (US$23.5 million), though this may be adjusted. Evolva Holding may also receive a payout of up to CHF 10 million (US$11.75 million) if certain product-based sales targets are met.

“Evolva offers us a strong strategic fit with our yeast-based technology platform,” said Lars Asferg, President of Lallemand Bio-Ingredients. “Evolva’s proprietary precision fermentation technology and R&D capabilities present an ideal platform from which to expand our product offering, mainly within health ingredients like Veri-te resveratrol and flavor & fragrance aroma components like Valencene and natural Nootkatone. We look forward to welcoming the Evolva employees into our Lallemand family and continuing to work with suppliers and existing and new customers in bringing sustainable, yeast-based ingredients to markets globally via Lallemand’s extensive commercial and operational network.”

© Lallemand

High-value yeast ingredients

In 2022, Lallemand told vegconomist that its aim was to provide high-value yeast-based ingredients to food and flavor producers. The same year, the company recevied EU authorization for its yeast-based, non-animal vitamin D to be used in several new food categories, including meat and dairy alternatives. The vitamin D was subsequently authorized for use in 26 food categories in the UK in 2023.

Late last year, Lallemand announced Toravita® 054, a new variety of the company’s Torula yeast that can increase umami while lowering sodium content. Lallemand also offers yeast-based flavor bases that mimic the taste of meat.

“The plant-based market is moving forward rapidly, and innovation is key to developing a unique product,” Anne-Marie Gendreau, North American Applied R&D team leader at Lallemand, told vegconomist in November. “As plant-based food and beverage products evolve, so does the demand for specialty ingredients. This is a product category that faces many challenges. Plant-based innovators aim to deliver better taste, texture, and nutrition.”

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