The French pharmaceutical manufacturer Solabia has acquired the Israeli biotech Algatech, which grows microalgae to produce bio-sourced food additives.
The financial details of the acquisition were undisclosed. The incoming financial backing from Solabia will fuel the expansion of Algatech’s manufacturing muscle and research programs, which are based in the deserts of Israel.
The acquisition represents a success story for microalgae industry investors, who could get encouraged to make further ventures into companies harnessing the potential of microalgae.
“We have been involved since the very start of Algatech,” stated Stephen Waley-Cohen, Chairman of the JCA Charitable Foundation, which was one of Algatech’s initial investors. “Realizing our investment will enable us to support many more projects in the rural periphery of Israel.”
Founded in 1998, Algatech has one of the largest photobioreactor facilities in the world. The company uses the constant climate and intense sunlight in the desert to grow microalgae. One of the company’s main products is a food pigment called astaxanthin, which is given to farmed salmon to get their pink color. Algatech thus provides a more sustainable alternative to traditional astaxanthin production, which uses petrochemicals as its source.
“Investors have become increasingly interested in this space, as microalgae can be considered ‘the source of the 21st century,’” Hagai Stadler, CEO of Algatech, told me. “The innovation coming out of this space is not only groundbreaking but has the potential for significant growth and positive returns.”
Images from Algatech