Agribusiness group Scales Corporation has expanded its global proteins division, purchasing a 50% shareholding in newly established pet food ingredient processing operation Esro Pet Food.
The joint venture will be based in Europe alongside Esro Food Group.
Esro is a key player in Europe’s animal byproduct processing, with factories in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. It is owned by the Netherlands-based Rooijackers family, the Fayman family and Rabobank Investment, the investment franchise of Rabobank.
Scales is providing lending facilities for a combined €15 million (about $27.4m) to fund capital expenditure for two pet food ingredient processing plants in Europe. This investment will be funded initially from Scales’ existing cash reserves.
Scales and Esro have appointed Leon Coolen CEO of the joint venture. Coolen has extensive experience in leading global food and pet food ingredients businesses.
Scales managing director Andy Borland said the company is delighted to be expanding into the European market.
“Esro is an established and respected business with a long history of processing and selling edible by-products.
“We are excited to be able to combine Esro’s existing processing and procurement strength with Scales’ specialist knowledge of the pet food industry to be able to offer our pet food customers a truly global solution for their ingredient procurement requirements.”
Its first plant will be based in Belgium, where an existing processing facility previously used by Esro for edible byproduct processing is being converted to a dedicated pet food ingredient plant.
Construction of a new plant is underway and the site is expected to be operational in the last quarter of 2023. The joint venture is also considering options for a second site, but a final decision on this is unlikely until 2024.