Aker BioMarine and Neptune negotiate $34 million transaction

Aker BioMarine Antarctic and Neptune Technologies & Bioressources have concluded an agreement in which Aker BioMarine will acquire Neptune's krill oil inventory and IP for US$34 million

The agreement will improve the scale of Aker BioMarine's business allowing the company to increase investments in science, product innovation, sustainable krill (Euphasia superba) harvesting practices and marketing support.

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

The transaction will also enable the acceleration of Neptune's expansion into larger and expanding industry segments via acquisition and innovative extractions from its Sherbrooke site.

Jim Hamilton, President and CEO of Neptune, said: "Neptune believes strongly in the health benefits that krill oil provides and will remain actively involved in this sector via our investment in Acasti Pharma and through the finished form soft gel capsules from our Solutions Business.

“The proceeds from this transaction allow Neptune to accelerate its efforts to position the Company in attractive growth segments such as cannabis oil extraction and support further acquisitions consistent with our strategy. In the last two fiscal years we have significantly grown revenues and improved the bottom line.”

Summary of the transaction

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 for a total cash consideration of $US34 million.

Some of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt with high interest rates and the balance will be allocated to innovation projects, such as the Green Valley medical cannabis oil extraction project and to acquisitions inline with its growth strategy.

Neptune's profile post transaction

While a small team of people will be retained to continue work on special projects including the medical cannabis project at the facility, a large number of our employees (approximately 50 employees) will see their employment end as part of this transaction.

Neptune is also pursuing opportunities in the prescription drug markets, through its owned subsidiary Acasti Pharma. Acasti focuses on the research, development and commercialisation of omega-3 phospholipid therapies for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia. Neptune remains committed to its investment in Acasti Pharma.

Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine, said: ”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…

"Neptune's customers and products will be integrated into Aker BioMarine, including Neptune's popular NKO brand. 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.”

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