Private equity-backed Protix acquires Fair Insects

The deal, completed just three months since the company raised €45m, will enable the Dutch firm to expand by adding mealworms, crickets and locusts to its portfolio.

Close up of locust Asia

The deal, completed just three months since the company raised €45m, will enable the Dutch firm to expand by adding mealworms, crickets and locusts to its portfolio.

Protix, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of insect-based products, has realized its first acquisition by adding Fair Insects, a breeder of mealworms, crickets and locusts, to its portfolio. The company did not disclose financial details of the transaction.

The announcement comes just three months since Protix raised €45 million from Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture, as well as Rabobank, Dutch government-backed Brabant Development Agency and other private investors the company did not disclose. Rabobank has backed Protix since its founding.

“Through this acquisition Protix will be more able to serve customers within the whole spectrum from B2B to food markets with products like protein-rich foods, meat replacements and healthy beverages,” Protix said.

Founded in 2009 by two former McKinsey employees – Kees Aarts and Tarique Arsiwalla – Protix breeds insects it processes for use in animal feed using proprietary technology. Its knowledge and technology has pioneered the production of the black soldier fly larvae, which is especially good at recovering proteins from food scraps, according to the company. It has raised a total of €70 million to date.

Protix products are used in over 12 countries in feed applications ranging from pig and poultry to pet food specialties. However, the company is also working on developing food applications for consumers.

“We have been looking at smart acquisitions for two years and Fair Insects has been on the radar ever since,” Protix said. Fair Insects is led by a consortium of three insect breeders: Insects nursery Van de Ven, Meertens Insectenkwekerij and Nostimos.

Protix’ plan for growth over the next two years will focus on boosting the production volume of these new insects.

There will be no changes made to Fair Insects’ management team or staff, Protix told Agri Investor. “We will take a diligent growth path including rapid expansion of production capacity through automation and control systems,” Protix chief executive and co-founder Aarts said in an e-mailed response. The company will also focus on developing new products and adding new talent to its team, he added.