Avignon, France-based Naturex has signed a letter of intent to purchase 100% of an unnamed West Coast, California-based company and thus increase the percentage of its turnover generated in the US from 40% to 60%.

The French producer of natural ingredients for the flavour, food and nutraceutical industries first entered the US market in 1997. Naturex now claims that with the acquisition of the company, which produces and markets nutraceutical ingredients, it can gain several years of development and a larger segment of the nutraceutical niche. It was in this market that Naturex realised its strongest growth rates during 2001, and through which it grosses 20% of its turnover.

According to a report in Les Echos, Naturex will raise the US$10m takeover costs by increasing its capital to €8m through the stock market next November.

In FY 2000, Naturex posted turnover of €12.24m. During Q1 2001, turnover increased 39% to €8.4m and for the current fiscal year, Naturex forecasts 30% growth in turnover and expects its earning per share to double. Last year, the US company posted turnover of around US$7.5m (€8.143m) and pre-tax profits of US$2m.

The new group is expected to achieve consolidated turnover of €25m with an organic growth rate of 20-25% in 2002.