Food technology and ingredients company Kerry Group has bought two biotechnology companies for around €200m.

Kerry said the new buys will expand its expertise, technology portfolio and manufacturing capabilities.

Kerry has bought biotechnology innovation company c-LEcta as well as Mexican based enzyme manufacture Enmex.

c-LEcta specialises in precision fermentation, optimised bio-processing and bio-transformation for the creation of high-value targeted enzymes and ingredients.

Based in Leipzig in Germany, c-LEcta is an innovator in disruptive new sciences for the pharmaceutical market, with a strong pipeline of functional bioactives across food, beverage and other consumer markets.

Enmex is an enzyme manufacturer based in Mexico, supplying multiple bio-process solutions for food, beverage and animal nutrition markets.

With a long history of partnering with global customers, Enmex has a complementary enzyme portfolio and a strong manufacturing infrastructure, which will extend Kerry's fermentation and enzyme manufacturing capabilities into Latin America.

Dr Albert McQuaid, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Kerry, said the food and pharmaceutical industries are on the cusp of a new wave of innovation where new developments in biotechnology, synthetic biology and precision fermentation are radically transforming these sectors.

"c-LEcta is a leader in these new technologies, which includes fermentation-based products such as disruptive new enzymes, and the strategically compelling combination with Kerry will accelerate our innovation capabilities in enzyme engineering, fermentation and bio-process development," Dr McQuaid said.

"Our broad market reach across food and pharma markets, combined with our deep enzyme applications expertise and integrated ingredient technology design, will enable and accelerate the growth potential of c-LEcta's strong portfolio and technology capabilities while also supporting us in the creation of tastier, more sustainable and healthier products," he added.

Neil Cracknell, CEO of Kerry Applied Health and Nutrition, said that enzymes are increasingly playing a vital role as biocatalysts in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, where they deliver many benefits including improved product quality, increased process efficiency, and reduced food waste, through both minimisation of waste and valorisation of waste streams.

"This strategic acquisition of Enmex will complement Kerry’s existing enzyme portfolio and build on our strength in enzymes for modifying cereals and grains," he stated.

"We see enzymes playing a critical role in helping achieve Kerry's vision to create a world of sustainable nutrition, which is about providing better nutrition, with better processes, which have less impact on our earth's resources," he added.

In a note, Davy Stockbrokers said both transactions reflected Kerry's appetite to utilise science to advance the business.

The transactions fit with Kerry’s strategic priorities and complement recent science/technology backed M&A (Biosearch, BioK+ and Niacet), the stockbrokers added.