EIB signs EUR 120 million financing agreement with bioscience company Chr. Hansen
Project is a follow up of the earlier collaboration for innovative solutions in the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 120 million lending agreement with Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen. The Danish company will use the financing to boost its research and development activities in two of its key areas of activity: food cultures and enzymes, and health and nutrition. It is expected that the project will lead to new, innovative products to the food and dietary supplements segments, such as probiotic solutions to sustain good health or cultures that can extend shelf life of fresh products.
The main point of the research is the use of enzymes and good bacteria to develop innovative solutions to reduce sugar, salt and fat content of foods, and prolong their shelf-life in an all-natural way. The research will focus on improving the stability of probiotic cultures, as well as protection methods for agricultural crops. Finally, the financing will support Chr. Hansen in exploring bacterial applications to human health in its Health and Nutrition division.
EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb commented: “Modern times have taken a toll on our lifestyles, which not only affects our physical wellbeing, but can have significant costs for society as a whole. Many Europeans struggle with their health, so apart from promoting healthier lifestyles, I think it is important to stimulate research in foods science and natural solutions that can improve this situation. The EIB is proud to support such an innovative company and, through Chr. Hansen, contribute to improving people’s lives.”
“Chr. Hansen has almost 150 years of experience, studying and commercializing the brilliance of nature in the form of good bacteria. We know that good bacteria play a fundamental role in keeping humans, animals and plants healthy and that these friendly microorganisms can help to address serious challenges such as food waste, antibiotic resistance and the need for more sustainable farming practices with less chemistry. The partnership with EIB allows us to keep pioneering science and create a sustainable food system from farm to fork.” stated Søren Westh Lonning, CFO of Chr. Hansen.
The project not only strengthens European R&D, but will also have an impact on the safeguarding and creation of highly-skilled jobs in the EU. The main effort of the research will be carried out in Denmark, with smaller parts being performed in France and Germany.
Chr. Hansen Holding A/S is a global bioscience company founded in 1874 and based in Denmark. The company produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colours for the food and beverage industry, the human and animal health industries and the plant protection industry. Chr. Hansen owns one of the world’s largest commercial collections of bacteria (around 40,000 strains). The group has approx. 3,700 employees, customers in 140 countries and subsidiaries in more than 30 countries.
The EIB has provided a EUR 75m loan to Chr. Hansen for the company’s research into and development of innovative solutions in the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The EIB financing will boost the company’s efforts to develop food products with a reduced amount of sugar, salt and fat, as well as an extended shelf life.
The EIB and AntibioTx A/S, a private Danish biotech company, signed a EUR 20m loan agreement to develop the first treatment from a potentially new class of antibiotics. This EIB operation is supported by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, a new generation of financial instruments for innovative and growth companies, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.