Danish ingredients firm Danisco has signed an agreement for the acquisition of shares in UK-based emulsifiers producer Abitec. The acquisition is conditional upon the approval of the appropriate competition authorities. A spokesman for Abitec said this could take anywhere from eight weeks to several months.

Abitec, which is based in Northampton, has a production plant employing 55 people and generating revenue of around £20m. Abitec is currently part of the ingredients division of Associated British Foods (ABF) and supplies emulsifiers and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) mainly to the European market.

Emulsifiers based on natural raw materials can be used by food producers to counter increasing raw material costs. Abitec’s food emulsifiers perform many essential functions in a wide range of foods including bread.

Abitec, founded in 1987, is a relatively small part of ABF’s ingredients division.

"By combining Danisco’s emulsifiers technology and production capability with Abitec’s customer base and market access, we will create an even better platform for developing new products and supporting customer needs and thereby further enhance our position,’ said Martin Klavs Nielsen, head of Danisco’s Emulsifiers.

Danisco is one of the world’s major suppliers of food ingredients and industrial bioproducts, employing 9,700 people in 40 countries.