Kersia acquires Holchem, becomes Europe’s second biggest food safety company

4 Jun 2020

French biosecurity and food safety firm Kersia acquired UK-based Holchem, one of the leading players in the UK food and beverage hygiene sector. The financials of this deal were not disclosed, but it was backed by the private equity investment company Ardian.

This acquisition marks Kersia’s expansion to 120 countries and makes it the second largest food safety firm in Europe. “This merger will enable us to make new solutions and services available to Kersia’s customers throughout the world, and in the same way, will provide Holchem’s local teams and customers with Kersia’s solutions to help combat contamination by pathogens of the food chain in one of the world’s largest food processing regions,” said Kersia CEO Sébastien Bossard in a statement.

Kersia acquires Holchem, becomes Europe’s second biggest food safety company

Although Kersia’s mission to combat the spread of animal and human diseases in the food chain is required in normal times, the outbreak of coronavirus has thrown the necessity of food safety measures into stark relief. In its merger, Kersia acknowledged the import of solutions explicitly dedicated to fighting the virus.

For the foreseeable future, both Kersia and Holchem will be refocusing operations towards providing the products which have been most in demand, such as disinfectant and hand-hygiene solutions. The two companies will also continue to support the rising requests for biosecurity protocols.

Going forward, this partnership will likely benefit from the high global health and food safety standards that the pandemic will give rise to.

Already, Kerisa invested in Kilco in 2018, which enabled the French group to gain a foothold in food safety within the UK livestock sector (dairy, poultry and swine). With the addition of Holchem’s two industrial sites in Bury and Liphook, which primarily provide safety solutions for food, beverage and dairy industries, this French conglomerate stands to gain ground as a market leader.

Recalls and contamination are already an expensive occurrence within the food industry and the importance of avoiding them will only grow as the pandemic brings food safety to the forefront of consumers' minds. According to a study by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the average cost of a food recall from contamination is $10 million, not to mention the subsequent damage to the brand and lost sales. If Kerisa can provide solutions to manufacturers throughout the UK that help alleviate the risk of a recall and allay the fears of both workers and consumers during the duration of the pandemic, the company stands to benefit tremendously from this acquisition.

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