August 1/Philadelphia/PRNewswire -- FMC Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business assets of Pectine Italia S.p.A., an Italian-based manufacturer of pectin for the food ingredients market. The acquisition marks FMC's entry into the pectin market, expanding the company's industry-leading portfolio of hydrocolloid texturants and stabilizers.

"This acquisition continues our strategic expansion into the high-growth, natural-based food ingredients market," said Michael Wilson, president, FMC Specialty Chemicals. "With our recent acquisitions of two natural food colors businesses, our entry into pectin underscores our commitment to broaden FMC's portfolio of innovative food ingredients. It also represents another important step in our Vision 2015 growth journey."

Pectine Italia produces pectin, a stabilizer and thickening agent used widely in many foods and derived predominately from lemon peels. The company has production facilities in Milazzo, on the island of Sicily. The acquisition provides FMC with pectin manufacturing capabilities, strategically located near important raw materials sources. The business will become a part of FMC BioPolymer, a business unit of FMC Corporation.

"Pectin has a very positive consumer image and unique functionality that has helped it grow globally in recent years," said Mike Smith, division manager, FMC BioPolymer. "It is particularly well suited for low-pH applications and our technical teams already work regularly with pectin. FMC BioPolymer's global resources, technical service and more than 65 years of product development, coupled with Pectine Italia's pectin processing knowledge, will allow us to grow a new platform as an industry-leading pectin supplier."

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.