The Netherlands-based ingredients and additives group Barentz Europe BV has formed a joint venture with Swiss company Ernst Sander AG.

Barentz-Sander AG will be headquartered in Zug and will supply specialty ingredients and additives to the food, feed and pharmaceutical industries, servicing customers of both partners.

"We are delighted that we have found a partner which cherishes the same values as Barentz and is firmly rooted in Switzerland for over 135 years," said Barentz Europe CEO Hidde van der Wal.

Dr Torsten Pieschnick, managing director of Barentz GmbH and vice president for the Pharma Division of Barentz, said that while the company had been able to build "substantial business" out of its Oberhausen office in Switzerland, forming the joint venture would improve service to local customers and offer an extended portfolio.

"By focusing with local people on our customers in the food, the feed and the pharmaceutical industry, we are very confident that we can grow the business at a much more rapid pace for our partners," Pieschnick said.

Van der Wal added that the formation of a joint venture fitted with the group's strategy to be a strong local supplier in every European country. "The conditions in the Swiss market lead us to this solution over the option of organic growth," he said. "Barentz' normal growth path in the past ten years has been growth through own offices, Russia and Turkey being the latest additions to the Barentz Network. Also in the future we will look at all options to further our growth."

The joint venture company is to be headed up by Alex Koller.