Aker BioMarine buys Neptune krill oil business

The feed ingredient supplier will pay $34 million for the deal.

Aker BioMarine has acquired the krill oil business of Canadian pharmaceuticals manufacturer Neptune Technologies & Bioressources for $34 million (€29 million).

At the closing of the deal, Neptune will exit its bulk krill oil manufacturing and distribution activities, and support Aker BioMarine with the transition of its customers, krill oil inventory and intellectual property.

Aker will become the exclusive krill oil supplier to Neptune’s Solutions Business.

Neptune's Sherbrooke facility is not part of the deal, the companies said.

"This acquisition will allow us to increase investments in science and product innovation, sustainable krill-harvesting practices, and marketing support for our customers, which in turn will build excitement and accelerate growth in the omega-3 market," said Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine.

"Neptune’s customers and products will be integrated into Aker BioMarine, including Neptune’s popular NKO brand," he said. "These customers will continue to receive the products they are used to and at the same time benefit from the additional products and support Aker BioMarine will offer to drive growth in the omega-3 market."

Earlier this year, Aker BioMarine kicked off the Omega-3 Index Project to bring more awareness to the health risks of low omega-3 levels, he said. 

The company also initiated a study to evaluate the effects of krill oil omega-3s on "the world’s toughest Army recruits," the US Rangers. 

"These are the types of activities we will continue to move forward with, and now in connection with the NKO brand,” Johansen said.

“The marriage of these two brands is significant for the krill oil business. We have only just scratched the surface of the potential of krill oil and look forward to bringing NKO into our brand portfolio that we spent a decade building,” Johansen added.

Aker BioMarine is currently engulfed in a spat over patents for the technology used on the krill vessel Juvel with competitor Rimfrost, after it bought the vessel at auction

It has also been in various disputes with Neptune for years about patents.

In a statement, Neptune said it would remain actively involved in the krill sector via its investment in Acasti Pharma and also through finished form soft gel capsules from its Solutions Business. 

However, the proceeds from the transaction will allow Neptune "to accelerate its efforts" in attractive growth segments such as cannabis oil extraction, "as well as support further acquisitions consistent with our strategy." 

"In the last two fiscal years we have significantly grown revenues and improved the bottom line," said Jim Hamilton, CEO of Neptune. "We are excited about the opportunities that this transaction will enable for the future and the value creation for our shareholders on a long term basis." 

---

For more seafood news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our daily newsletter.