I used to cover the very small jojoba oil market when I was writing for Chemical Market Reporter magazine. I got some flashbacks when I saw this news from Vantage Specialty Ingredients that it has recently acquired a majority share in Agrinsa, one of the largest jojoba farms located in Argentina.
The Agrinsa farm is significantly larger than Vantage’s existing farm in Arizona, which was acquired in 2012 when Vantage purchased the Desert Whale Jojoba Company. Majority of jojoba oil consumption is cosmetics and personal care ingredients.
Vantage is reportedly integrated and involved in every aspect of the jojoba supply chain – from farming to oil extraction to derivatives manufacturing. Desert Whale Jojoba began in the 1970s when it promoted jojoba oil as a plant-derived replacement for sperm whale oil. All of Vantage’s jojoba products is being marketed under the brand name Desert Whale or DW.
By the way, if you want to know the history of Vantage Specialty Chemicals, it began as the well-known oleochemical company, Uniqema Americas, which was part of the UK-based Uniqema group – the oleochemical business of the know defunct Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Uniqema was divested to Croda in 2006 but the US business, Uniqema Americas, was sold to private equity firm, H.I.G Capital in 2008, and was renamed Vantage Oleochemicals.
Vantage Oleochemicals’ history even goes back further in 1985 when it was purchased by Unilever from Darling Delaware and was operated as part of Unichema International. Unilever sold the business to ICI in 1997. In late 2008, H.I.G. Capital forms Vantage Specialty Chemicals that include the oleochemicals business as well as other acquired companies: Petroferm and Lipo Chemicals.