Groupe Berkem Acquires Oilseed Miller


Groupe Berkem Acquires Oilseed Miller
View from an aerial drone of yellow rapeseed fields in Ile-de-France, France. © Ekaterina Pokrovsky

French biobased chemistry company Groupe Berkem yesterday announced completion of its acquisition of Biopress, a French producer of vegetable oils – which are used in lubricants and surfactants applications – and proteins. Terms were not disclosed.

Located in Lot-et-Garonne since its creation in 1987 and headquartered in Tonneins since 1991, Biopress is an organic oil mill specializing in production of a range of vegetable oils extracted from organic oil seeds from local farms. With properties similar to petroleum derivatives, the vegetable oils can be used in a wide variety of applications, including lubricants and surfactants.

Group Berkem said that surfactants derived from the vegetable oils are also used in a variety of industrial applications and are especially prized for their solubilizing, detergent, wetting and emulsifying properties. “These products therefore find applications in sectors already addressed by the group,” the company noted, including industrial.

The group said the acquisition will add to its value chain the sourcing of a raw material essential to its activities in integrating plant-based chemistry. Biopress is located near Groupe Berkem’s plant in Gardonne, in the southwest of France, and will also provide significant new storage space for future growth. Groupe Berkem said that as a result of the acquisition it will be able to expand its production capacity and ensure processing of more than 8,000 tons of plants per year.

“Raw material sourcing has always been a real know-how for Groupe Berkem and, faced with an inflationary and geopolitically complex environment, we felt that it was necessary to internalize this ability through a dedicated subsidiary,” Groupe Berkem Chairman and CEO Olivier Fahy stated in a press release. “With the acquisition of Biopress, Groupe Berkem now manages its supply of vegetable oils, essential raw materials for its extraction and formulation activities, while at the same time significantly increasing its storage capacity in the direct vicinity of its production facilities.”

The 11 employees of Biopress joined Group Berkem on April 1.