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Novozymes and Chr. Hansen Combine to Create Novonesis 

On Jan. 29, 2024, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen successfully completed their merging, resulting in a new, combined biosolutions company named Novonesis, according to a press release. 

Novonesis brings together a global team of 10,000 employees across 30 different industries, including agriculture. Novonesis will continue Novozymes’ work in the agriculture sector, focusing on bio-ag solutions — specifically derived microbes and enzymes — that increase the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

This week’s successful statutory merger completes the merger goal the two companies announced Dec. 12, 2022. All regulatory approvals and registrations have now been completed, and final registration with the Danish Business Authority took place Jan. 29.

“Novonesis combines our joint strengths and the wonders of biology, and we are set to lead a new era of biosolutions,” said Ester Baiget, president and CEO of Novonesis, in the press release.We will innovate and develop transformative biosolutions that improve the way we all produce, consume and live. And we have gathered the brightest minds and together with my 10,000 colleagues, we will unlock the limitless potential of biosolutions.”

“Together, we will serve as a growth partner to our customers; a value creator to our shareholders; and a company that has a significant, positive impact on society and the planet,” added Cees de Jong, Novonesis’ board chair. “Novonesis builds on a shared heritage of sustainability leadership and will keep leading the way.” 

Novonesis is expected to generate annual revenue of approximately EUR 3.7 billion with solid profitability and cash generation, the press release stated.

The company will focus on two key priorities: half of its portfolio will focus on enabling healthier lives and producing better foods; the other half will address reducing chemical use and targeting climate neutral practices.

Novozymes stated that it plans to convene an extraordinary general meeting to elect new members to the board of directors and to seek approval of Novonesis as a new secondary company name.

Nine shareholder-elected board members (plus employee-elected board members) will make up the board of directors. The following individuals are expected to be nominated for election:

  • Cornelis (Cees) de Jong, as Chair (independent)
  • Jesper Brandgaard, as Vice Chair (independent)
  • Heine Dalsgaard (non-independent)
  • Sharon James (independent)
  • Kasim Kutay (non-independent)
  • Lise Kaae (independent)
  • Kevin Lane (independent)
  • Morten Otto Alexander Sommer (independent)
  • Kim Stratton (independent)

Nine executives have been appointed to the future Executive Leadership Team, as per an announcement Oct. 10, 2023:

  • Ester Baiget, CEO
  • Rainer Lehmann, CFO
  • Jacob Paulsen, EVP, Food & Beverage Biosolutions
  • Amy Byrick, EVP, Human Health Biosolutions
  • Tina Sejersgaard Fanø, EVP, Planetary Health Biosolutions
  • Claus Crone Fuglsang, Chief Scientific Officer
  • Anders Lund, Chief Operating Officer
  • Henrik Joerck Nielsen, EVP, Strategy & Integration
  • Morten Enggaard Rasmussen, EVP, People & Stakeholder Relations
  • Winnie Bügel, General Counsel – Legal (temporary role)