IRVING, TEXAS — Darling Ingredients first entered an agreement to acquire all shares of Gelnex, a Brazilian manufacturer of collagen, in the fall of 2022 for $1.2 billion in cash. The acquisition was made official on March 31.

As part of the deal, Darling also acquired five South American facilities and one in the United States. Combined, these facilities have the capacity to produce 46,000 tonnes of gelatin and collagen products per year. The company estimates its acquisition of Gelnex will add roughly $75 million in EBITDA toward Darling’s full-year 2023 earnings.

"This acquisition gives Darling immediate capacity to serve the growing needs of its collagen customers, while continuing to serve the growing gelatin market," said Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and chief executive officer of Darling Ingredients. "Gelnex is a well-run business and is expected to be immediately accretive.

"Collagen is the most abundant protein naturally found in the body, and it plays an increasing role in the health and nutrition market by consumers seeking benefits to their hair, nails, skin, joints, bones and muscles,” he added. “Our versatile and high-quality collagen products can be used in a broad range of applications, including powder blends, capsules, tablets, nutritional bars, drinks, dairy, confectionery and more."

Darling Ingredients’ Rousselot health brand now operates 17 state-of-the-art facilities worldwide and will leverage its new capacity through Gelnex to continue supplying gelatin and collagen products derived from bovine, porcine and fish sources, the company stated.

According to Darling Ingredients, demand for collagen is expected to significantly rise, prompting the company’s expansion in its collagen production capacity.

“Driven by strong growth in demand for collagen products in the global health and nutrition market, we anticipate the collagen peptides market to double in the next five years,” Stuewe said. “Gelnex is a well-run business and will be immediately accretive. This acquisition will allow Darling to continue to grow its presence in the health and nutrition market and increases our production capacity for grass-fed bovine collagen in South America to help meet the future demand of our collagen customers worldwide.”

Rousselot’s collagen lines for use in nutrition include Peptan®, Colartix® and ProTake™. The brand also produces collagen for use in biomedical industries.

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