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GEA Group has reached an agreement to acquire a New Zealand-based powder specialist as part of its ongoing strategy to expand in the emerging Asian markets and compete with rivals such as Tetra Pak, according to FoodProductionDaily.com.

The Germany-based giant announced it had taken over Nu-Con, a major global supplier of powder handling components, complete powder handling systems and bulk filling lines.

Nu-Con, based in Auckland, has 167 employees and posted revenues of €27 million in the financial year ending 31 March, 2011. Its powder handling systems are used mainly in the infant formula, dairy and other food processing sectors.

No financial details about the takeover were available. The new company would be called GEA Nu-Con.

The New Zealand company has a strong presence in South East Asia, with plants in Singapore and Australia as well as offices in Malaysia. It also has agency relationships in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Chile, the Netherlands and Brazil.

GEA spokesman Marc Ponitz was quoted telling FoodProductionDaily.com that its share in Asian markets was a major factor behind purchasing the firm.

He said Nu-Con has a strong market reputation in South East Asia, especially in dairy and particularly in China and the company saw China as the main market in the coming years.

GEA executive board member Niels Graugaard hailed the move as a key piece in the strategy to position the company correctly in the bulk powder handling market.

“Nu-Con fits perfectly into our product and location matrix and strengthens our powder business especially in the growing Asian markets,” he said.

GEA said it expects to complete the buyout in September this year subject to approval from competition authorities. More at FoodProductionDaily.com

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