The group specializing in vegetable chemistry has just acquired Biopress, a French producer of 100% vegetable oils and proteins, thus securing its supply of vegetable oils while increasing its extraction capacities.

Securing a local supply of raw materials

Located in southwest of France, Biopress is one of the first French agri-food companies to specialize in the production of vegetable oils extracted from organic oil seeds from local farms. With properties similar to petroleum derivatives, while being renewable and biodegradable resources, vegetable oils can be used in a wide variety of applications such as cosmetics, coatings, inks, and lubricants. Also, the vegetable proteins contained in oil cakes, which result from the crushing process that is used to extract the oil from the seeds, are particularly prized in the nutraceutical field.

With this acquisition, Groupe Berkem adds to its value chain the sourcing of a raw material essential to its activity of integrating plant-based chemistry. The group now benefits from a local supply of technical vegetable oils, as Biopress is geographically close to the Berkem’s plant. Biopress’ facilities also provide significant new storage space for the group as it anticipates the future growth of its business. Berkem can thus expand its production capacity and ensure the processing of more than 8,000 tons of plants per year.

Strengthening and broadening of the offering

With this acquisition, Groupe Berkem is consolidating its offering in the "Health, Beauty & Nutrition" area of expertise and more specifically in the cosmetics market thanks to the virtues of its oils and the nutraceutical market because of the benefits provided by plant proteins. According to Groupe Berkem, this transaction is fully in line with the acquisition of i.Bioceuticals, a North American distributor of nutritional supplements, announced on 16 February 2023, and paves the way for new opportunities for growth in this booming market [1].

Surfactants derived from these vegetable oils are also used in numerous industrial applications, being particularly prized for their solubilizing, detergent, wetting and emulsifying properties. These products will therefore find applications in sectors already addressed by the Group. Finally, the integration of Biopress will provide Groupe Berkem with new commercial opportunities in the agri-food market.

"Raw material sourcing has always been a real know-how for Groupe Berkem and, faced with an inflationary and geopolitically complex environment, we felt that it was necessary to internalize this ability through a dedicated subsidiary. With the acquisition of Biopress, Groupe Berkem now manages its supply of vegetable oils, essential raw materials for its extraction and formulation activities, while at the same time significantly increasing its storage capacity in the direct vicinity of its production facilities. Through local and 100% plant-based sourcing, we will strengthen our Health, Beauty & Nutrition, Industry and Construction & Materials business areas, which fully benefit from the recognized virtues of so-called technical vegetable oils and plant proteins. Finally, this acquisition gives us access to a new market, that of agri-food, where we intend to develop new sustainable solutions for manufacturers looking for naturalness,” explains Olivier Fahy, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Berkem.

The integration of Biopress into the consolidated accounts of Groupe Berkem was completed on April 1, 2023. The acquisition of Biopress was made by Berkem Développement (a wholly owned subsidiary of Groupe Berkem), financed out of equity and fully paid in cash. The 11 employees of Biopress joined Groupe Berkem on April 1, 2023.