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Oterra Acquires India's Akay Group

Published July 5, 2022
Published July 5, 2022
Theo Crazzolara via Unsplash

Oterra, a supplier of natural colors, makes its fourth deal by acquiring Akay Group, a prominent Indian natural ingredients manufacturer.

WHO: Founded in India in 1995, Akay Group is a leading player in the natural colors and nutraceutical ingredients industry, serving 40 countries. Based in Kerala, India's spice hub, the business has four manufacturing sites in southern India and employs more than 400 people.

Established in 1876, Oterra is the largest provider of naturally sourced colors worldwide with an unrivalled expertise in colors for food, beverage, dietary supplements, and pet food to help manufacturers bring appealing products to consumers around the world. And we continue to empower our partners to meet demand for safe, sustainable, and natural food on our journey together towards natural.

WHY: The transaction will strengthen Oterra's access to natural colors, but also adds an attractive product pipeline backed by state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and strong R&D capabilities.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "Akay is a great strategic match for Oterra. It adds to Oterra's best-known core-strength—natural colors, and its portfolio of nutraceutical products complements Oterra's existing portfolio of products for natural dietary supplements. The demand for all-natural products in this market is on the rise—and so is Oterra," said Cees de Jong, Chairman of Oterra.

"We're very happy to join the Oterra family. We have a fond shared history, that has left a significant imprint on our business understanding and culture, and we share many of the same values. I am very confident that Oterra's innovative mindset will bring great value to Akay's customers. In many ways, this is like a homecoming for us," said Dr. Balu Maliakel, Managing Director, Akay.

"In recent years, Akay has successfully transitioned from a pure colors and flavours business to a leading science-backed botanical ingredients business. We both believe in bringing the best of nature to the world, and we're happy to welcome the team at Akay to Oterra. We look forward to working together to serve our customers in the future," said Odd Erik Hansen, CEO, Oterra.


  • Oterra acquired Akay Group, marking its fourth acquisition in 14 months.
  • The companies have a long-standing connection. Oterra, previously known as Chr. Hansen Natural Colors prior to its purchase in 2021, was in a joint manufacturing venture with Akay to produce natural colors from turmeric and paprika. From 2007, Akay continued as an independent company, but both companies kept close ties because Akay is a key supplier to Oterra. 
  • Investec served as the financial advisor and JSA served as legal counsel to Akay Group. Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Accura as legal advisors to Oterra and EQT.

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