Two years to the day after the fire that ravaged its production and storage centre, Realco is laying the foundation stone for its new factory. Increased production capacity and state-of-the-art equipment: Realco will be ready to produce on its site from 2023.
On Monday January 10 2022, Realco, the Walloon biotech company specialised in hygiene solutions based on green chemistry, began rebuilding its factory, which was devastated by an accidental fire just two years earlier. Efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly, the new plant will offer higher production capacity, improved efficiency and quality, enabling Realco to provide an even better service to its customers while significantly reducing its environmental impact.
“The reason for starting the construction two years after the fire is that we had the ambition to rebuild in a sustainable and visionary way,” explains Philippe Demyttenaere, Production Manager at Realco.
The production capacity of the new building will be around 10 million litres per year, with the potential for two new production lines in the long term, which will leave room for promising innovation projects. In addition, the network of subcontractors set up following the fire provides Realco with additional capacity and flexibility to optimise its production costs. The management of incoming and outgoing flows has also been reformed in order to increase efficiency and strengthen security.
More generally, the reconstruction plan aims to support Realco in its ambitious CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) objectives. The reinforced insulation will allow heating consumption to be reduced by a factor of three or four. The roof of the building will be equipped with photovoltaic panels that will produce electricity for the offices and the factory. The cleaning and sanitary water will be heated by solar panels. There will also be several tanks to collect and treat rainwater (up to 250 m3) and use it not only for cleaning the factory, but also as raw material for production.
“This reconstruction would not have been possible without the enormous support of our loyal customers and our partners who have continued to trust us,” says George Blackman, CEO of Realco. “It is also worth mentioning the fantastic commitment of Realco’s teams who have shown resilience to get through this crisis.
We look forward to thanking them all when the new plant opens in January 2023.”
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With the Splash and Zen brands sold, Realco wants to seize this opportunity to refocus on its core business and strengthen its presence beyond its borders via an acquisition.
On Thursday 14 October 2021, Realco, specialised in enzymatic hygiene solutions, finalised the transaction to sell its Splash and Zen brands to the Spanish company Manufacturas Gre SAU, a subsidiary of the international Fluidra group. The result of this sale, consisting of an initial payment of 3,5 million euros at closing and an estimated variable of 1,5 million to be received on sales in 2022, 2023 and 2024, provides Realco the opportunity to grow through acquisition.
“We are delighted to announce this closing which marks a decisive turning point for Realco. This decision is the result of a long reflection on our strategic challenges and our desire to refocus on green chemistry and to grow in growth sectors. We also intend to continue our collaboration with Fluidra on innovation projects based on enzyme technology,” explains George Blackman, CEO of Realco.
To support its acquisition plans, the company has mandated the M&A advisory firm E-Spring Capital. Realco is looking to expand by acquiring a company in a neighbouring country, active in B2B and more specifically in industrial hygiene in the food sector. The company has already met several interesting targets in terms of market and product synergy and complementarity.
“An acquisition is becoming an essential element in Realco’s growth strategy,” explains Frédéric Tiberghien, administrator of Realco. “In the context of the consolidation that the hygiene world is undergoing today, Realco must position itself, as this will represent a very important engine for renewal and expansion.”
The recovery of economic activity is clearly felt in certain B2B sectors that were affected during the health crisis. Indeed, the Professional Kitchens division is back on track with the reopening of restaurants and the Food Industry division has seen record sales in the last quarter. On the B2C side, the flagship brand eezym continues its ambitious growth.
Realco will also continue to leverage its internal innovation capacity to ensure organic growth. The innovation pipeline currently includes 9 promising projects – new sources of revenue in the medium term.
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Press release 25 March 2021, 8h30
With the sale of the Splash and Zen brands, Realco is refocusing on its core business. Its objective is to accelerate the development and growth of enzyme-based hygiene solutions that are more effective and environmentally friendly.
This Wednesday, March 24, 2021, Realco signed an agreement to sell the assets of its Splash and Zen brands to the Spanish company Manufacturas Gre SAU, a subsidiary indirectly owned by the Fluidra Group. The transaction is expected to conclude in September 2021, allowing the seller and buyer companies to prepare for the transition. The transaction price consists of a fixed price of 3.5 million euros and a variable price, equivalent to 10% of the turnover, to be achieved in 2022, 2023 and 2024 on these brands.
“This deal is the result of a long-standing strategic reflection”, explains George Blackman, CEO of Realco. “With a turnover of almost 5 million euros in 2020, the Splash and Zen product ranges are market leaders in pool and spa maintenance in the Belgian retail sector, but they are more in the realm of classic chemistry. However, since I assumed my role in 2017, our teams have been constantly consolidating their activities around products and services with high added value for businesses and individuals, and which are also environmentally friendly. “
This deal will not put an end to the long partnership between Realco and Fluidra. On the contrary, the collaboration will be strengthened through various mechanisms. The door remains open for the joint development of products of natural origin or based on enzyme technology. In addition, Realco will continue to manufacture certain chemical products for Fluidra for the next 4 years and is committed to providing marketing and sales services to ensure a smooth transition of the Splash and Zen business. In terms of brand continuity, nothing changes for the distribution network and the end customers, who will even benefit from an expansion of the range.
The sale will enable the Walloon biotech to accelerate its international growth, particularly in one of its core markets: the fight against biofilms, which are one of the main sources of contamination for Realco’s customers. The transaction will also provide the company with the means to further invest in Eezym, its range of enzyme-based cleaning products for consumers.
Finally, the capital released also opens up avenues for future growth, both organically and through possible acquisitions.
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Realco, pioneer of enzymatic hygiene solutions, enforces its different patents around biofilms and wins lawsuit against counterfeiter!
The French-speaking commercial tribunal in Brussels has just ruled in favour of the Brabant biotech company in its case against an international competitor who was counterfeiting its green chemistry products.
This verdict is important in the defence of the intellectual property of the world leader in enzyme-based hygiene, which is thus strengthened.
Louvain-la-Neuve, on 08 January 2021. Over the last 30 years, Realco has been constantly innovating and developing ever more efficient hygiene solutions for the food industry, catering, healthcare and private households. One of the greatest innovations of its scientists was undoubtedly its range of specific enzyme-based products that have the immense advantage of destroying the protective layer of biofilms to make the bacteria accessible for in-depth disinfection, greatly reducing the risk of contamination.
The so-called use-by date (UBD) has far-reaching implications if we consider that, in Europe, some 88 million tons of food end up in the bin each year at a cost of 143 billion euro.From an ethical, environmental and socio-economic point of view this phenomenon is nothing short of alarming because it has a direct impact on producers, processors, distributors, shops and, of course, on consumers.
But here’s the good news: henceforth it will be possible to extend this UBD by up to 100 %!
This is the revolutionary finding the Louvain-la-Neuve leader in enzyme-based hygiene solutions has just published at an international level. After 2 years of research, conducted in collaboration with reputable industrialists and financed by the Walloon Region, prestigious partners such as the University of Liège (ULiège) and Genalyse Partner back up these scientific findings.
Learn more about the Biofilm-Expert project and read our press release !