Past and future development in China: interview with Jean Marc Dublanc, CEO of Adisseo
Published: Aug 05, 2022 04:31 PM
Jean Marc Dublanc, CEO of Adisseo, speaks about past and future development in China in an interview. Adisseo is an everlasting enterprise with more than 80 years of experience in the global animal nutrition industry. The company was founded in 1939 in Comandry, France and its main product is methionine. 

Q: In 2015, Adisseo was listed in China's capital market. At present, the market value of Adisseo has increased significantly compared with its purchase price. What have contributed to such tremendous gains?

A: In 2015, Adisseo was listed in China's A-share market, the first successful case of securitization of overseas M&A projects by central enterprises in the domestic capital market, which also provided strong financial support for the company's expansion into the Chinese market. The current market value of Adisseo is approximately 25 billion yuan ($3.71 billion ) in the context of overall downward adjustment of A-share market, which represents a significant increase in value compared to the initial purchase price of 400 million euros ($409 million). In my opinion, this is due to two main reasons:
First, we benefited from the high degree of alignment between our strategy and China's economic and social development, as we firmly grasped the market opportunities and favorable policies in China. China is the world's largest consumer market of methionine, a product that had been largely imported until 2006, which made it difficult to meet the urgent demand for animal nutrition from China's growing agricultural and sideline industries. In 2009, Adisseo built a world-class liquid methionine plant in Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu Province, successfully realizing the conversion and commercial application of such world-leading liquid methionine technology in China.

Second, it benefited from the integrity and growth of Adisseo's own business. Since 2015, Adisseo has been implementing a "two-pillar" strategy, that is, to consolidate its leading position in the methionine business, while accelerating the development of its specialty business, so as to lead the industry with a diversified business positioning and a rich product and service offering. Adisseo's specialty business is able to provide "antibiotic substitution" solutions to empower the sustainable development of the industry through different combinations of feed digestibility solutions (enzymes), health by nutrition solutions (acidifiers, probiotics) since China banned the usage of antibiotics in animal feed.

Q: Adisseo Nanjing is considered an exemplary facility by global standards. Even the facilities in France and Spain have benefited from its experience. What Chinese characteristics and Chinese wisdom do you think the Nanjing plant embodies? 

A: Our Nanjing plant is indeed a world-class facility by all standards, not only in terms of safety but also in reliability and cost. China itself has an advantage in the scale of manufacturing, which makes the procurement cost much lower than that in the European and American markets; the supporting infrastructure of Nanjing Chemical Industry Park provides a low-cost basis for new projects, and the integrated manufacturing process saves logistics costs and increases the degree of intensification. In addition, the Chinese team has been improving their understanding of the process technology and further standardizing their management through learning and reference. At the same time, the advanced work experience gained from Nanjing plant has also been shared with other plants around the world to improve the performance of our European production platform.

For example, in terms of environmental protection, as China's regulations on safety and environmental protection are very strict, our Nanjing plant has outperformed European plants in terms of odor management, and the environmental protection measures were quickly extended to Adisseo's global production platforms. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic prevention and control measures of the Nanjing plant were introduced to Adisseo's French and Spanish plants. The high responsiveness and effective execution of Chinese employees are valuable assets for our global teams to learn from. China is very advanced in terms of digitalization, and we are rapidly advancing our global business by leveraging the advanced experience of our Chinese team in digitalization of production, sales and marketing.

Q: What is your view on the future prospects of the Chinese market?  What are your expectations for Adisseo's development in the coming years? 

A:  Adisseo's financial and strategic goals for the next five years are to continuously improve the quality of its products and services, while vigorously implementing a "two-pillar" strategy to consolidate its global leadership in methionine, maintain its unique competitive advantage in the vitamin business, and to accelerate the development of its specialty business to achieve double-digit compound annual growth rates in both top line and bottom line while ensuring a sustainable dividend payout ratio. While striving for the sustainable and profitable growth, the company is becoming a worldwide leader in feed additives and a preferred partner for animal feed customers.