Roquette acquires Sethness, reinforces footprint in caramel colors

Roquette has signed an agreement to acquire Sethness Products Company, a leader in the production of caramel colors for food and beverage applications for an undisclosed fee. The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur in Q3, 2018 and further leverages both companies’ global capabilities in caramel colors. Prior to the proposed acquisition announced today, Sethness and Roquette already had a strong partnership: they operated two successful joint-ventures in France (Merville) and in China (Lianyungang).

In a statement sent to FoodIngredientsFirst, Roquette pointed out: “The transaction consists in transferring the stakes held by the Sethness family to the Roquette Group, which would become the exclusive shareholder of the company. Sethness has grown over the past 135 years by focusing on delivering the highest quality caramel color products. As an 85-year old family-owned company, Roquette is driven by a similar long-term vision. It has been partnering with Sethness for almost 15 years and intends to ensure the continued economic development of the company in its markets, notably by reinforcing its leadership in the food and beverage industry.”

“Sethness is the worldwide leader in the production of caramel color and the transaction will contribute to reinforcing Roquette’s position in this market. Roquette, as a global leader in plant-based ingredients for Food, Nutrition and Health markets has strong ambitions to reinforce its position in these sectors worldwide,” reads the statement.

Sethness provides a large selection of caramel colors (in liquid and powdered forms) as well as a variety of clean label caramel color options (non-GMO, certified organic, gluten-free, allergen-free, etc.). Its four manufacturing facilities are located in the US, France, India and China.

As a family business founded in the USA in 1880 and headquartered in Skokie (IL), Sethness claims to share with Roquette the values of product excellence and long-term vision: for over 135 years the company has solely focused on the production of caramel color and offers the highest-quality products on the market today.

The closing of the deal remains subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions and, until then, Sethness remains 100 percent owned and managed by the existing shareholders.

Jean-Marc Gilson, CEO of Roquette, says: “This acquisition will help accelerate Roquette’s growth plan in the food & beverage market and further drive value for our customers. We have been thrilled to successfully partner with Sethness in France and China for years. We are looking forward to working with their talented teams to continue addressing customers’ current and future needs everywhere in the world.”

Chuck Sethness, Representative of the Sethness family, also comments: “Today is an important day in our long history. Over the past 135-years, our family-owned company has strived to offer the highest quality caramel color products to the most recognized players in the food & beverage industry. I am pleased that Roquette, a group with which we share common values and a long-term vision, will now continue to leverage on the strong assets of both companies to reinforce its relationships with clients for the benefit of consumers globally.”

Sethness Products Company and Roquette Frères cooperated in 2004 to create Sethness-Roquette, a joint venture specializing in the production of caramels. Sethness Products Company (established in 1880 in Chicago, US) is the leading global producer of caramel colors and Roquette Frères (established since 1933 in Lestrem, France) is one of the largest international manufacturers of starch-based products and derivatives. These two family businesses are natural partners and Sethness-Roquette is a good combination of these two knowledgeable companies and has achieved a leading position in the caramels market, the companies claim.

The statement to FoodIngredientsFirst confirmed that caramel colors remain enormous in prevalence. “Caramel color is the world’s most widely used food colorant. It is used largely to color numerous foods and beverages including colas, soy sauce, seasonings, bread, pet food, cereals, etc. In fact, 1 in 20 food items you find in any supermarket is made with caramel coloring. People have used caramel to color their food for centuries in order to make it look as delicious as it tastes. It is also used in some cosmetic and non-food applications,” it concludes.

Source: Food Ingredients First

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