Novozymes Japan has always worked closely with the Japanese company Mitsui, initially by having them as a distributor in the Japanese market – at that time Mitsui owned 10% of the shares in Novozymes Japan – and subsequently through a joint venture in which Mitsui’s proportion of shares was raised to 40%. As time has passed, Novozymes has acquired greater understanding of the local market and Japanese customs. And Novozymes is now ready to handle the Japanese business by itself without a local partner.
This means that Novozymes has completely taken over the company and bought Mitsui’s shares so that it is now 100% Novozymes. The price will not be disclosured.
“Mitsui has always played a big role for Novozymes in Japan. We have enjoyed really good cooperation, but now we have become so big and well-established that it makes more sense for both parties that Novozymes takes charge of the whole business itself,” says Lars Christian Hansen, President of Novozymes Japan.
Working with a distributor at the start and gradually becoming more independent is a known pattern for companies growing in markets where they are new and do not have sufficient experience to run things themselves from the outset.
“When you want to move into a new market, you often start with a distribution agreement. If things then go well for the business and it grows, there comes a time when you can choose to set up your own office in the country,” explains Lars.
Novozymes, formerly Novo A/S, has been present in Japan since 1971, when we had a desk in Mitsui’s offices to take care of sales in the region. Since then the business has grown and Novozymes has acquired its own offices accommodating around 60 employees, who mainly work in research & development and sales.