Spanish food company Natraceutical has bought UK rival Braes Group for €80m (US$102.1m) as the first step in its international expansion strategy which includes the acquisition of complementary businesses.

Valencia-based Natraceutical bought the firm from British private equity group 3i. It plans to finance the deal with its own cash flow and through an undisclosed share offer.

London-based Braes owns the Swiss-based biotech concerns Obipektin and Spreda as well as Overseal, a UK-based concern that makes sweetener Talin.

Natraceutical also named Xavier Adsera its new president, replacing Vicente Dominguez who resigned from the post. Natraceutical posted a 7.7% jump to €904,000 in first-quarter net profits on flat revenues of €5.8m, boosted by higher operating margins.