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Boortmalt makes Antwerp the world’s malt capital

By acquiring its sector peer Cargill Malt, Boortmalt – which is part of French grain cooperative Axéréal – will become the largest malt player in the world. The headquarters of this newly forged billion-dollar group will be located in Antwerp, Flanders.

Boortmalt’s CEO Yvan Schaepman

“This is the biggest deal ever in the history of the malt industry,” explains Boortmalt’s CEO Yvan Schaepman. “We were number four in the market, Cargill Malt was number three. Now we are number one in our industry, ahead of the French groups Soufflet and Malteurop.” The annual turnover of the new group is expected to be around EUR 1.2 to 1.3 billion.

Doubling in size

“By acquiring Cargill Malt, we’ve doubled in size,” Schaepman adds. “We are growing from 11 to 27 malting plants and gaining a global presence in the process. Boortmalt is mainly present in Europe, while Cargill also has sites in North and South America as well as Australia. The acquisition will make it easier to supply our customers, mainly beer brewers, around the world. It will also make it easier for us to purchase barley – the raw material for malt – locally.”

Major investments

The HQ of the new billion-dollar group will be situated at the Port of Antwerp (Flanders). Last year, Boortmalt built a fourth malt tower there, an investment of EUR 50 million. Consequently, the Antwerp site became the largest malt factory in the world. Its 76-meter-high tower has a production capacity of 470,000 tons of malt every year: the equivalent of no fewer than 17 billion beers.

What’s more, Boortmalt’s brand-new R&D center will soon be opening in Antwerp as well. From there, it will work closely with the research department of Cargill Malt, which is also located in Flanders – more specifically in the city of Leuven. “Research is extremely important,” Schaepman comments. “We are constantly looking for new varieties of malt for large brewers as well as specialty brewers. We will also be investigating how we can mix our malt with local raw materials, and whether we can even make products for the consumer market.”

Highlighting its dedication to Flanders, Boortmalt was even nominated for Flanders Investment & Trade's 2018 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy for these recent efforts in expanding both its production and innovation capacity.

Green benchmark

Antwerp is by far the ideal location for us.

Yvan Schaepman
CEO Boortmalt

Yvan Schaepman, CEO Boortmalt

Following the merger with Cargill Malt, Boortmalt will continue to export its malt products from the Port of Antwerp to South America, Africa and Asia. “This is by far the ideal location for us,” Schaepman says. “There’s even still room for further expansion. What’s more, we have plans to make our Antwerp site the benchmark for all our other malt production sites in terms of renewable and green energy.”

“Last year, we already managed to reduce water usage by 50%,” Schaepman adds. “That’s an important optimization, especially since we use tap water in our production processes. We will now be rolling out this novel technology at the newly acquired Cargill malt factories as well.” To be continued!

More info

Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
8 November 2019

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