Lesaffre acquires majority stake in Tunisian yeast producer


12 Apr 2018 --- Lesaffre has acquired a majority shareholding in the company Rayen Food Industries in Tunisia, who specializes in the production of baker’s yeast. This acquisition is in line with Lesaffre’s goal of strengthening its presence on the African continent and ensuring greater proximity to its clients. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Antoine Baule, CEO of Lesaffre said: “This new investment is perfectly in line with our strategy which is to get closer to our customers in every part of the world, to understand and answer their specific needs.”

“Lesaffre was not substantially present in the Tunisian market, this acquisition will enable us to gain access to this market,” he notes.

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Rayen Food Industries in Tunisia
“The middle class is growing, the consumption of yeast products is growing, so consequently the demand for yeast ingredients is increasing,” Baule continues, “Globally, the African market is in development, and so is Tunisia. So it was important for us to pursue our investments on this continent.”

Situated in Jendouba, in northern Tunisia, the factory produces fresh baker’s yeast for the Tunisian market. Investments are planned to maximize the efficiency of its industrial processes and improve the yeast quality. 

“More than ever, our aim today is to be a key partner for our baking clients and to strengthen our relationships based on proximity, regarding both products and services,” explains Baule.

For Rayen Food Industries, it was essential to guarantee the long-term future of the factory and its employees. “This partnership will enable us to make the most of Lesaffre's skills, a company recognized internationally for its professionalism, based on more than 165 years of expertise. This group will contribute to ensuring sustainable development of the national production of yeast and baking ingredients while respecting the rules of the environment, and constituting a lever for exports and enabling Tunisia to better position itself on the global biotechnology scene,” says Mohamed Kooli, President of Rayen Food Industries.

This new acquisition will help strengthen the group’s presence in this part of the world. Already present in North Africa for more than 60 years, Lesaffre now has three yeast production sites (Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt) and one bread improvers unit (Algeria), employing more than 500 people. Commercially, the group is present throughout the whole region, which it notably supplies from these factories.

By Elizabeth Green

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