Aker Biomarine acquires USD 34 million krill oil business

Published on
August 9, 2017

The krill oil inventory and intellectual property owned by Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. has been bought by Norway’s Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS for USD 34 million (EUR 29 million). The deal suits both companies’ ambitions as it gives the purchaser more scale in the krill sector while enabling the seller to further expand into other business areas.

Following the acquisition, Quebec-headquartered Neptune will continue to be involved in the krill oil sector via its investment in Acasti Pharma Inc., and also through the finished form soft gel capsules produced by its Solutions Business. The latter will be in partnership with Aker BioMarine.

Jim Hamilton, president and CEO of Neptune, said the proceeds from the transaction would allow Neptune to accelerate its efforts to position the company in “attractive growth segments” such as cannabis oil extraction, as well as to support further acquisitions. 

Some of the proceeds will also be used to reduce debt with high interest rates.

“In the last two fiscal years we have significantly grown revenues and improved the bottom line. 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,” said Hamilton.

Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine, added, “Neptune has made a strategic decision to withdraw as a bulk krill oil supplier, while Aker BioMarine wants to increase investment in the category, so this agreement is a perfect fit for both parties. 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.” 

Neptune’s customers and products, including Neptune’s NKO brand, will now be integrated into Aker BioMarine. 

“Earlier this year, we kicked off the Omega-3 Index Project to bring more awareness to the health risks of low omega-3 levels. We also initiated a study to evaluate the effects of krill oil omega-3s on the world’s toughest army recruits, the U.S. Rangers. These are the types of activities we will continue to move forward with, and now in connection with the NKO brand,” said Johansen. 

“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."

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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