The deal – which will see the German firm pay around €684m for Pronova – was finally accepted last week after a bidding process that saw the German chemicals firm increase its offer in response to resistance from minority shareholders.
A BASF spokesman told in-Pharmatechnologist.com today that: “We are confident that this is a good investment.
“This acquisition will create numerous synergies by combining BASF’s global customer reach and many years of experience with Pronova’s solid know-how and scientific expertise in the production of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, with the technology portfolio of Equateq [now operating under the name BASF Pharma Callanish].”
He explained that the aim of the deal was to strengthen BASF’s portfolio and expand its position in the research and development and manufacturing of omega-3 fatty acids for pharmaceutical and consumer health products.
“BASF will have an attractive technology portfolio for developing and manufacturing omega-3 fatty acids. Highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are a globally growing market, driven by an increasing consumer awareness of omega-3 fatty acid health benefits.”
Pronova supplies GSK with the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for its heart pill Lovaza. BASF’s other omega-3 business – BASF Pharma Callanish - is one of the firm’s for which Amarin is seeking US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as a supplier for its rival product Vascepa .
Fatty acid synergies
Pronova gives BASF capacity. The firm operates two production facilities – one in Norway and one in Denmark – which are capable of producing 2,500 tons of pharmaceutical grade omega-3 a year and employs around 311 people.
This contrasts with BASF Callanish, which has a single production facility on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland .
The technology 'synergies' mentioned above are likely to involve the proprietary chromatographic separation methods in place at Callanish that - according to BASF - allow for more flexible blending and formulation of omega-3 fatty acids at exceptional purity levels.