Syensqo buys Korean ceramides specialist JinYoung Bio

By Julia Wray | Published: 29-Apr-2024

The investment will boost the Belgian spin-off company’s natural and high-value skin care offer

Belgian specialty chemicals firm Syensqo has completed the acquisition of South Korea’s JinYoung Bio. 

The Suwon-si-based cosmetic ingredients supplier specialises in ceramides. 

Syensqo called the investment a step in expanding its portfolio toward more natural and high-value skin care solutions.  

JinYoung Bio’s technology includes biomimetic ceramides for skin care and hair care applications, as well as a range of bio-based functional ingredients used in skin care and make-up.

Ceramides are produced through biotechnology via a fermentation process.

According to Syensqo, this aligns with its strategy towards renewable materials and growth in biotech.

“This investment puts Syensqo at the forefront of leveraging the dynamic nature of ceramides, a hero ingredient in cosmetic products including the fast-growing dermocosmetics,” said Michael Radossich, President of the Consumer and Resources division at Syensqo.

The company plans to launch its first product from the ceramides line at the NYSCC Suppliers’ Day trade event in New York in May.

Ceramides have become a hot target in the specialty chemicals space in recent months. 

2023 saw Croda acquire Korea’s Solus Biotech, which specialises in the manufacture of ceramides and phospholipids. 

The purchase followed Evonik’s announcement that it had begun to manufacture commercial quantities of ceramides at its factory in Dossenheim, Germany to cater to growing demand for the ingredient in the personal care market.

In the skin, ceramides – composed of biologically active N-acetyl sphingosine and a fatty acid – create a barrier that helps prevent moisture loss, keeping skin hydrated, plump and supple.

Syensqo, previously the specialty chemical business of chemicals giant Solvay, was carved off into a new company in December 2023 under Solvay’s former CEO Ilham Kadri.

The spin-off company is no stranger to investing, however; in January, its venture capital fund Syensqo Ventures participated in the US$2.1m financing round for Bioeutectics, a start-up producing green solvents.

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