Leading natural colours supplier Oterra acquires India’s Akay Group

13/07/2022 – Ingredients / Colours / Oterra / Akay / Natural / Flavours / Acquisition

Leading natural colours supplier Oterra acquires India’s Akay Group

Oterra, the world’s leading supplier of natural colours, has further strengthened its core offerings with the acquisition of Akay Group, a prominent natural ingredients manufacturer. Founded in India in 1995, Akay is a leading player in the natural colours and nutraceutical ingredients industry.


The acquisition, Oterra’s fourth in only 14 months, is seen as a ‘win-win’ for both parties. Oterra will not only strengthen its access to natural colours but also to an attractive product pipeline backed by state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and strong R&D capabilities. 


“Akay is a great strategic match for Oterra. It adds to Oterra’s best-known core-strength – natural colours – and its portfolio of nutraceutical products complements Oterra’s existing portfolio of products for natural dietary supplements. The demand for all-natural products in this market is on the rise – and so is Oterra,” said Cees de Jong, Chairman of Oterra


Based in Kerala, India’s spice hub, Akay serves over 40 countries, has four manufacturing sites in southern India, and employs more than 400 people.


Companies with “a fond shared history”


Oterra’s acquisition of Akay is an exciting step in its future, according to Dr Balu Maliakel, Managing Director, Akay. 


“We’re very happy to join the Oterra family. We have a fond shared history, that has left a significant imprint on our business understanding and culture, and we share many of the same values. I am very confident that Oterra’s innovative mindset will bring great value to Akay’s customers. In many ways, this is like a homecoming for us” said Rd. Balu Maliakel. 


The two companies have a long-standing connection. Oterra, previously known as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors before its purchase in 2021, was in 1995 part of a joint manufacturing venture with Akay to produce natural colours from turmeric and paprika. From 2007, Akay continued as an independent company, but Oterra and Akay have kept close ties with each other since Akay is a key supplier to Oterra. 


“In recent years, Akay has successfully transitioned from a pure colours and flavours business, to a leading science-backed botanical ingredients business. We both believe in bringing the best of nature to the world, and we’re happy to welcome the team at Akay to Oterra. We look forward to working together to serve our customers in the future,” said Odd Erik Hansen, CEO, Oterra. 


This transaction was signed in July 2022 and is subject to regulatory approval.

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