Valensa International announced that its parent company, EID Parry (Murugruppa Group, India), has acquired Alimtec SA, a Chile-based company of the Bayer AG Group. The acquisition of Alimtec, which had been a supplier of high-quality astaxanthin biomass to Valensa for over two years, will augment Valensa’s ability to expand its natural astaxanthin offerings as a part of its portfolio of advanced formulated human health products, including joint health, cardio and eye health products. Alimtec has infrastructure in place to produce four times its current production.
This move follows Valensa’s announcement of two U.S.-sourced astaxanthin supply agreements in late 2013 and a recent announcement by the company that it will begin offering and formulating ZanthinNEX™ nature-equivalent astaxanthin by the end of 2014. All of these activities support a market that has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for astaxanthin in the last 18 months and the success of Valensa’s formulated products, which include astaxanthin as a significant component. Currently, Valensa offers nearly 20 products that include astaxanthin—with more than 10 that have patents in place.
According to Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, Valensa’s CEO, the acquisition of Alimtec is part of an ongoing company effort in response to the success of astaxanthin in capturing the interest of consumers and human health product developers. “Valensa has been in the astaxanthin business for over a decade—a decade in which we have been instrumental in developing the best quality, and only U.S.-made, astaxanthin, as well as developing the science of astaxanthin in support of a number of human health applications. The demand for this remarkable substance has grown to the point where we can no longer be subject to the existing farming techniques to gain access to our important raw materials. We are significantly diversifying our source of supply. This acquisition, along with our production in India, our U.S.-based supply agreements and the development of our ZanthinNEX nature-equivalent form, will ensure our ability to include astaxanthin in a broad range of exciting human health formulations moving into the future,” he said.
In March of this year, Valensa announced that it would begin offering ZanthinNEX astaxanthin commercially in late 2014 after appropriate regulatory review. ZanthinNEX is a form of the carotenoid astaxanthin produced via a proprietary process using a nature-based enzymatic conversion that delivers a product that is “nature equivalent” but actually purer than conventional astaxanthin produced via extraction from Haematococcus pluvialis algae. Last year, the company announced supply agreements with Texas-based Texasta and California-based Contract Bio to supply natural Haematococcus astaxanthin microalgae. Valensa is the only company in the astaxanthin business with domestically grown algae and U.S.-based extraction. The certified organic extraction facility operated by Valensa is located in Florida and does not extract shellfish or other known allergens.
For Moerck, this acquisition, along with other recent moves to assure stable raw material supply, is only the start of big things to come. “The acquisition of Alimtec makes good business sense for Valensa and Parry. This gives us a natural raw material supply in the Southern hemisphere that augments our existing Northern hemisphere sources. As a result, I’m happy to say that the days of force majeure for astaxanthin suppliers are numbered,” he said. “But access to a steady supply of astaxanthin is only the beginning of the story. What is exciting is the ability we will have to develop an ever broadening range of clinically studied human health products that feature this ingredient as we move into the future,” he added.