Pronova BioPharma factory (Photo: PBP)
BASF keeps after Pronova BioPharma
Saturday, December 22, 2012, 04:20 (GMT + 9)
German chemical company BASF is currently going after Norway’s Pronova BioPharma, a company that manufactures the active ingredient for GlaxoSmithKline's popular omega-3 fish oil drug, Lovaza. This week, BASF extended its EUR 664 million-offer to buy the shares of Pronova to 18 January 2013.
"The intended acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the fast-growing and highly profitable market for omega-3 fatty acids. We want to combine the global market reach and experience of BASF with the know-how of Pronova in omega-3 fatty acids," said Michael Heinz, a BASF board member.
BASF said the idea is that acquiring Pronova, which runs manufacturing facilities in Norway and Denmark, would let it jump ahead and to become the main global producer of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, FiercePharmaManufacturing reports.
The extension to 18 January 2013 was announced days after BASF showed off an expanded plant in Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides in west Scotland that it bought from Equataq in May 2012. BASF is investing EUR 22 million in that facility and has already expanded its capacity from 20 to 250 tonnes, Nutraingredients.com reports.
According to Walter Dissinger, president of BASF's Nutrition and Health division, the new plant is the "benchmark in separation technologies within BASF."
"We see omega-3 as one of the most important ingredients with high growth rates going forward especially with highly concentrated omega-3, and that's where the technology we have acquired here kicks in," Dissinger said.
Late last month, BASF agreed with Pronova to make a recommended voluntary public takeover offer to Pronova’s shareholders, and to offer to pay NOK 12.50 (EUR 1.7) in cash for each share. The Board of Directors of Pronova and the management unanimously supported BASF’s offer and recommended its acceptance.
Further, BASF obtained irrevocable pre-acceptance commitments for approximately 60 per cent of Pronova’s share capital, including the 50 per cent stake held by majority shareholders Herkules Private Equity Fund LP, an approximately 9.1 per cent stake indirectly controlled by investment firms Kistefos AS and Kistefos Investment AS and 0.3 per cent held by members of the Board of Directors and Pronova management.
Based on all outstanding shares and including all net financial liabilities, the value would be NOK 4.8 billion (EUR 664 million).
- Chemical company to buy Norwegian omega-3 manufacturer
By Natalia Real