Israeli food company Futurom has established itself as a leading player in the UK flavours market with the purchase of Belmay, a UK-based flavours company which has subsidiaries in Singapore, Norway and Denmark.

Futurom paid US$17.1m in cash for the group, which generated FY2006 sales of approximately $15.1m.

Ori Yehudai, Futurom president and CEO, commented: "This acquisition, which is an additional step in the implementation of Frutarom's rapid growth strategy and of realising its vision, 'To be the preferred partner for tasty and healthy success', is an important strategic acquisition that makes Frutarom the leading flavour house in the British market and enhances its presence and position in additional important target markets."

The acquisition significantly strengthens Frutarom's technological capabilities and product portfolio, Yehudai added

Belmay's management will be integrated into Frutarom's existing UK flavours business.

The acquisition is expected to strengthen the Frutarom's research and development capabilities, the group said. Belmay specialises in natural flavours for the food and beverage industries. The group recently established a special research department to focus on the development of organic flavourings, a market which is growing by about 15% annually.

Furutarom said that it is reviewing Belmay's in various countries, adding that it expects to achieve annual operational savings of £3m.

"Above and beyond the extensive synergy existing in the British market, there is synergy between Belmay's flavours operation and Frutarom's activity in many additional countries, particularly Singapore, Denmark and Norway, where Belmay has subsidiaries. We intend to take advantage of our global marketing and sales infrastructure to leverage and realize the many cross selling opportunities created by this acquisition," Yehudai said.

According to Yehudai, Frutarom will continue to implement its rapid growth strategy and is continuously seeking additional strategic acquisitions.