FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC) announced that it has acquired all of the shares of Epax Nutra Holding III AS (Norway) and Epax UK Holding III AS (United Kingdom) (together, Epax), a leading manufacturer of high purity, premium grade omega-3 fatty acid concentrates that are used in nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and food. Epax was part of Trygg Pharma Group AS, an omega-3 pharmaceutical company. This acquisition strengthens and expands FMC’s presence in the high growth nutraceutical market.
The transaction, valued at approximately $345 million, reflects a 2013 EBITDA multiple in line with FMC’s current trading multiple and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.
“Earlier this year, we committed to invest in our FMC Health and Nutrition platform by expanding participation in nutraceuticals and similar high growth markets,” said Pierre Brondeau, FMC president, CEO and chairman. “This announcement underscores our commitment to this strategy and builds on our strengths in functional ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical markets. It also illustrates our resolve to meet or exceed FMC’s Vision 2015 growth goals through targeted acquisitions that complement our technology, business and financial priorities.”
Epax is a global leader in the production of high purity, premium grade omega-3 EPA/DHA fatty acids that are used primarily in the nutraceutical, food and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) intermediate markets. Epax uses proprietary purification and concentration production techniques that address the high-value, fast-growing market segments for high concentration omega-3 fatty acids. FMC’s acquisition will include Epax’s two world-scale production facilities in Alesund, Norway, and Seal Sands, U.K.
“This is an exciting time for our Epax business, employees and customers. We believe FMC is the right owner to take this business forward, given its technological and manufacturing expertise with marine-sourced inputs, its long operating history in Norway and the U.K., and its strong foundation in high-value ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical markets,” said Ola Snøve, Epax CEO. “FMC’s financial strength, global market access and commitment to growth will help accelerate our ability to serve the quality and reliability demands of our customers and consumers. I’m personally excited to become part of the FMC team.”
The market for supply of omega-3 fatty acids is $2.1 billion per year, projected to grow 12 percent to 15 percent annually. Consumer awareness about cardiovascular, brain, and numerous other health benefits of omega-3—supported by years of scientific studies and regulatory organizations—continues to drive strong demand, especially for high purity, highly concentrated products.
“For decades, FMC has been known in the pharmaceutical and food markets as a leader in functional ingredients—highly focused on customer needs, product quality and consistency, and customized innovation,” said Mike Smith, vice president and global business director, FMC Health and Nutrition. “This acquisition introduces a premium omega-3 fatty acid technology and brand to our portfolio of microcrystalline cellulose, alginates, carrageenan, pectin and other functional ingredients. We look forward to working with the Epax team to serve the market with an even broader portfolio of products, particularly in the high growth nutraceutical market.‖
As a part of the overall transaction, FMC has entered into a long-term supply agreement with Trygg Pharma to provide Trygg with high-concentration omega-3 fish oil for use as an active pharmaceutical ingredient.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as sole financial advisor to FMC on this transaction.