W Hydrocolloids, Inc. (WHI), a pioneer in the Philippine seaweed industry and a front runner in food ingredients and systems innovation worldwide under the brand Rico Carrageenan, has acquired the seaweed processing facility of Kerry Food Ingredients Cebu Inc. (Kerry) located in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City, Cebu, in central Philippines.
WHI acquired 100% of the assets used to process carrageenan chips from local seaweed. With this acquisition, WHI now has a total of three fully-owned seaweed processing facilities around the Philippines located in Carmona (Luzon), Carmen (Visayas), and Mandaue (Visayas), and a joint venture with Cargill in Canlubang (Luzon) for the manufacturing of fully refined carrageenan, the first fully automated carrageenan facility in Asia.
Along with this agreement and expansion, the acquisition also ensures that this seaweed processing facility will continue to provide economic stability to and support thousands of seaweed farmers, directly and indirectly, located all over the Philippines to uplift livelihood – an initiative that the company has always accounted from the beginning of its business.
WHI Chairman, Mr. Wee Lee Hiong acknowledges the vast potential of this industry in the international market despite the unstable world economy. “Striving to be the best carrageenan producer, WHI intends to be the market leader in the carrageenan-based food ingredient market. This acquisition brings us closer to this goal. This partnership with Kerry also aims to unlock shareholder value to both companies in these challenging market conditions,” he said.
The acquisition will enable the company to provide to the increasing demand for food ingredients across the globe as well as create a more efficient production system to exceed client expectations. With the additional production facility, WHI will be able to widen its product line to cater to the demanding international market.
On the other hand, Kerry will continue to purchase carrageenan chips from WHI over the next years to supply their worldwide requirements. This cooperation will leverage the strength of WHI in seaweed procurement and production efficiency, and Kerry’s expertise in value added products for various food applications.