Following the closing of the carve-out from Chr. Hansen, Natural Colors has kick-started an accelerated transformation journey and has already achieved several important milestones in its first weeks as an independent company. Today, the company relaunches under a new brand identity and name – Oterra.
In March 2021, EQT Private Equity announced that it had closed its acquisition of Oterra, formerly known as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors, a former subsidiary of Denmark’s Chr. Hansen, a global bioscience leader. Oterra specializes in the development and production of natural coloring ingredients for food and beverages. Having served its customers for more than a century, the company prides itself on having the industry’s largest color portfolio. Its new name, Oterra – Latin for “earth” – is an homage to its heritage and mission of providing natural colors to food and beverages in an authentic, safe and sustainable way.
In conjunction with the closing, EQT Private Equity also announced the appointment of a new high-caliber CEO, Odd Erik Hansen, previously CEO at the Danish-based biotechnology company Glycom, as well as the designation of an experienced board of directors headed by Cees de Jong, a reputable leader within the food ingredients industry.
Oterra reached another milestone in April after having signed its first add-on through the acquisition of Valencia-based SECNA Group, a specialized producer of natural colors focused on processing grape and black carrot colors concentrates. SECNA Group has operations in Spain, Italy and Turkey and the combination of the companies’ color platforms further strengthens Oterra’s industry-leading color portfolio and value-chain positioning.
Cees de Jong, Chairman of Oterra, added, “The board is very excited about the relaunch as Oterra – a name and identity that encaptures our purpose and sustainable value proposition. We see great growth ahead for Oterra and are confident the company will accelerate its development under its new brand. In addition, we have already taken some important steps. The acquisition of SECNA is highly strategic and a great start to the new ownership, where next to strong organic growth a key focus area will be M&A.”
Odd Erik Hansen, CEO of Oterra, commented, “We have been producing natural colors for more than 145 years now – our new name and brand identity are rooted in this proud heritage and reflect our belief that nature provides the best ingredients. We help our customers meet the increasing global consumer demand for natural products by utilizing the power of nature’s true colors and our unrivalled expertise in colors for food, beverage and pet food.”
Mads Ditlevsen, Partner at EQT and responsible advisor to Oterra, concluded, “EQT has followed this sector for a long time and we see that Oterra’s underlying market is supported by increased public awareness around health, sustainability and growing preferences for plant-based alternatives and ‘clean label’ products. With a strong board and management team in place, Oterra is well-positioned to capture future growth in this exciting market.”
Read more about Oterra.