Swedish oils and fats producer AAK has acquired 80% of Soya International, a UK-based company that focuses on sourcing, processing and distributing non-GMO, semi-speciality and speciality lecithins.

Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and a by-product from processing vegetable oils.

“It is a key ingredient for many customers within our core segments, especially chocolate and confectionery fats and bakery, as well as dairy, special nutrition and personal care,” AAK president Johan Westman said on 11 September. “By expanding our portfolio with this ingredient, we will be able to create even better solutions in close collaboration with our customers globally.”

Soya International was founded in 1996 and operated a third-party processing facility in the Netherlands, AAK said. It made approximately SEK150M (US$15.4M) in revenues last year.

The firm would trade under the new name, AAK Soya International, with managing director Sonny Arora retaining his position.

There was a put and call option under which AAK could acquire the remaining 20% of Soya International within the next two to five years.

AAK employed more than 3,700 people and had more than 20 different production facilities, with sales offices in more than 25 countries.