Valio to sell its starters business to the global industry leader

Finnish Dairy company Valio Ltd is selling its starter culture ingredients business to Chr. Hansen, including its ingredient rights, patents and know-how to the world’s most researched probiotic bacterium, LGG®. The deal price of €73 million includes Valio’s culture manufacturing operation in Finland as well as a collection of over 3000 dairy cultures. 

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (protected under the trademark LGG®) is the best documented probiotic strain in the world. It has been used in food and dietary supplements since 1990 and has proven beneficial effects on intestinal and immune health. It has been studied in more than 250 clinical studies and described in more than 800 scientific publications. 

Valio built a network of licensing customers and an ingredient supply business for LGG® after in-licensing the probiotic strain from US researchers Gorbach and Goldin in 1987. Today the ingredient trademark LGG® can be found on dairy, juice, infant formula and food supplement products in over 50 countries, including Valio’s own Gefilus® consumer products. 

Valio CEO Annikka Hurme says: 

“The sale will allow Valio to reallocate resources in line with its strategy to focus on its core consumer products businesses. Valio will continue to develop and manufacture its range of Gefilus® dairy products and juices that deliver LGG® in combination with great taste.” 

Executive Vice President at Valio Ross Crittenden adds: 

“Chr. Hansen has already manufactured LGG® for more than a decade under license from Valio. This ensures a smooth transition for LGG® customers. Valio will continue its investment in research to add to the already impressive body of science underpinning LGG®.” 

Chr. Hansen A/S was founded in 1874 and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen. The company has around 2500 dedicated employees in 30 countries. Revenues in the financial year 2014/15 stood at EUR 859 million. The head office is located in Hørsholm, north of Copenhagen. 

Valio Ltd is a leading Finnish Dairy company with 13 plants in Finland, 2 in Estonia and 1 in Russia. The revenue in 2015 was EUR 1718 million and the number of employees is about 4 000. Subsidiaries lie in Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Baltic countries, USA and China. Valio has made pioneering innovations such as probiotic products, lactose free Eila® products from fresh milk, protein rich products and several low-fat cheeses. Valio licenses her patented technology to companies all over the world. Valio means “excellent” in Finnish. The excellent quality and taste of the products has been the basic principle of Valio from her foundation in 1905. More company information at www.valio.com.