BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) plans to acquire publicly traded Pronova BioPharma ASA (Lysaker, Norway), a producer of omega-3 fatty acids, in a cash offer worth approximately $845 million, including debt. Herkules Private Equity, Kistefos and Pronova’s directors and management, together representing approximately 60% of the share capital and votes, have pre-accepted the offer. Commitment from shareholders representing 90% of share capital will be needed. In addition to producing omega-3 dietary supplements and clinical nutrition products derived mostly from fish oil, Pronova supplies the omega-3 heart medicine Omacor/Lovaza, the first EU- and FDA-approved omega 3-derived prescription drug. End-user sales for the drug in year ended December 31, 2011 reached $1.4 billion, according to IMS Health. Pronova is also pursuing long-term R&D into lipid-derived therapies for treatment of metabolic, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Pronova would be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division. “The intended acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the fast growing and highly profitable market for omega-3 fatty acids,” said Michael Heinz, a member of the BASF SE board of executive directors and the executive responsible for the Nutrition & Health division. BASF is an NCN Cornerstone Investor. In May 2012, DSM acquired another leading fish oil supplier Ocean Nutrition Canada for $540 million, after acquiring leading algae-based DHA and ARA supplier Martek for $1.1 billion in February 2011.
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