BASF today announced the acquisition of Equateq Ltd., a global leader in the manufacturing of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. With the acquisition, BASF extends its portfolio of omega-3 products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries with a new offering of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. “We are further strengthening our position as a leading supplier of ingredients for the nutrition and health industries,” said Walter Dissinger, President of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.
Adam Kelliher, former owner and founder of Equateq, added: “Bringing together the two companies allows us to combine the global market reach and the long-time experience of BASF with the unique technologies of Equateq.” The company gives particular acknowledgement to Highlands and Islands Enterprise, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, which have both provided financial support to the company during the development of its business.
Equateq has a production site located on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland with 47 employees. Equateq with all its employees will be integrated into the Pharma Ingredients & Services unit, which is part of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division. The integration is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.
Unique technology for customized fatty acid production
Equateq’s proprietary chromatographic separation methods allow flexible formulation of omega-3 fatty acids at exceptional purity levels. “Equateq’s technologies will enable us to customize fatty acid concentrates with variable ratios of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) at concentration levels of up to 99 percent purity. This is unique in the market,” explained Martin Widmann, Senior Vice President, Pharma Ingredients & Services at BASF.
In nutritional applications, especially dietary supplements, relevant essential fatty acids serve specific health conditions – for example eye health, brain health or heart health. In pharmaceutical products, highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. “By extending our product range of omega-3 fatty acids, we show once more our commitment to the health and well-being of consumers all over the world,” emphasized Dissinger.
Growing market for omega-3 fatty acids
BASF believes that highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are a global growing market. Increasing consumer awareness of the health benefits of omega-3 is fueling double-digit growth for omega-3 products in the years to come. At the end of 2011 BASF Plant Science announced an agreement with Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, to co-develop a new dietary source of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acid available by the end of the decade. A next-generation canola oil containing EPA/DHA will enable food, pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement manufacturers to deliver the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids into an even wider variety of new, cost-effective consumer products.