Dr. Giovanni Gasperoni is the Executive Vice President for Marketing and Sales, Novus International Inc. Recently, the company announced acquisition of the IQF Group in Spain and a related joint venture in Mexico. This significant purchase by Novus International has implications for the feed industry, which are reviewed in this interview.  

Feed Management: What did Novus acquire?  

Giovanni Gasperoni: Novus purchased the IQF Group which includes Carotenoid Technologies, S.A. and an affiliate, Quimicas y Farmaceuticas, S.A. based in Tarragona, Spain. Concurrently Novus purchased the entire shareholding of IQF-ENAMEX, S.A. de C.V. based in Cordoba, Mexico. This company was a joint venture between IQF of Spain and ENAMEX of Mexico.

FM: Please review the history of IQF.  

GG: IQF was founded in 1970 to focus on the research and production of additives and pharmaceutical products for animal health and nutrition. During the early 1970s the company successfully developed and marketed chemically-synthesized carotenoids. The principal products were marketed under the brands Xamacol® and Xarocol®. During this time IQF Mexico was set up to produce natural-based carotenoids for the feed industry. During the early 1990s, IQF was granted patents for the production of natural purified lutein and zeaxanthin involving a unique semi-synthetic process. The company commenced production of canthaxanthin towards the end of the 1990s to meet both EU and U.S. FDA specifications.

FM: When did Novus establish a relationship with IQF?  

GG: In 2001, we formed an alliance with IQF to market their products in a number of nations in the EU. In 2002, IQF Mexico and the existing domestic company ENAMEX merged forming IQF-ENAMEX, which was also included in the concurrent acquisition.

FM: What motivated the investment in a company specializing in carotenoids?  

GG: Novus has a philosophy of expansion through three major channels. The first is to develop products internally. The MINTREX® range of chelated trace minerals is an example. Our second approach is by acquisition. We may purchase entire companies such as Albion Animal Nutrition for their comprehensive market scope. We may also acquire companies for strategic reasons since they have access to markets or produce unique products which are complementary to the Novus range. Our third approach is to purchase technology which again may be synergistic with our R&D, production or marketing activities.

FM: What specifically was attractive in the IQF transaction?  

GG: We have enjoyed a long relationship with IQF and feel that their corporate objectives and mission are compatible with our own. We have distributed their products in the EU for over 10 years. We admire their research capabilities, specifically in the area of pigments. We at Novus International are constantly seeking to expand our product and program portfolio to satisfy the needs of our clients. We are now in a position to offer nutrient supplements, to support intestinal health and function and to contribute to feed quality. Traditionally, IQF has been strong in product development which relates to the Novus competence in marketing, logistics and sales.

FM: How will Novus market IQF products?  

GG: We believe that the transition can be achieved through integration of product offerings. We foresee the combination of existing Novus products and those introduced through the IQF acquisition will reduce distribution and sales costs especially in expanding market areas including Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

FM: How will the IQF acquisition relate to consumer needs?  

GG: Our current products include amino acids, chelated trace minerals, feed preservatives and other health through nutrition related products. We currently supply poultry, pork, dairy, beef and companion animal producers, nutritionists, feed mills and veterinarians with products and programs that help optimize performance and contribute to food safety and sustainability.

FM: Does Novus intend to acquire additional companies?  

GG: Consistent with our philosophy we would be interested in acquiring either technology or products or even entire companies which offer a return on investment and expand our geographic presence and product range to the benefit of our clients worldwide.