BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Eurofins Scientific took over the Scandinavian food-testing firm Steins Laboratorium A/S and acquired a significant, but undisclosed, shareholding in Fasmac Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Nippon Flour Mills Co.

Steins Laboratorium, of Holstebro, Denmark, focuses on analytical testing of foodstuffs and beverages for human and animal consumption. It is No. 1 on the Scandinavian market, with laboratories in Denmark and Sweden. It also established a laboratory in Poland in 2002.

Eurofins Scientific, which is based in Nantes, France, but has its operational headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, already had acquired Steins' environmental testing laboratory in 2005. The takeover of the main company has consolidated its position as leader of the bioanalytical testing market in Scandinavia, where it now employs 700 people.

Steins Laboratorium, which was founded in 1857, was previously owned by Danish and Swedish farm cooperatives, which remain its principal customers.

Fasmac, which is an abbreviation of Food Assessment and Management Center, is Japan's leading GMO testing laboratory, as well as a manufacturer of ultra-pure oligonucleotides, supplying all the oligonucleotides used for standard GMO testing in Japan. Fasmac, of Kanagawa, also is Eurofins' exclusive partner for its GeneScan PCR-based analytical testing services and intends to market the complete range of products and services based on the technology in Japan.

Nippon Flour Mills, of Tokyo, is Japan's second largest milling company, and the deal with Eurofins provides for the French company progressively to step up its holding in Fasmac over time.

Eurofins Scientific is the world leader in analytical testing for the food industry, specializing in the detection of living organisms and GMOs in foodstuffs, beverages and other botanical and biological materials. In late June the company declared its ambition of becoming a global leader in the supply of laboratory services to the biopharmaceutical industry, following its takeover of the Paris-based laboratory testing firm, Focus Bio-Inova.

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