December 19, 2005
BASEL, Switzerland--Lonza Group Ltd. has purchased the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) business from Dallas-based Celanese Corp., a global ingredient and specialty chemical supplier. The acquisition includes certain proprietary knowledge, expertise, patents and registration in major global markets, including North America, Europe and Asia. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Nutrinova, Celaneses performance products division, had been exploring the DHA sale since July 2005, when it announced a desire to focus on its core sweetener and food protection business. Its two-year-old, microalgae-derived DHA has been only a small market product, as high materials prices and safety approval costs have left most of the omega-3 market to marine oils. However, according to Celanese, vegetarian DHA oil offers better sensory properties, and the growth rates of vegetarian DHA are expected to even outpace other omega-3 sources, including marine fish oils.
Nutrinova DHA will join Lonzas existing products niacin (vitamin B3) and L-carnitine (branded as L-Carnipure®), and is expected to broaden the companys worldwide distribution channels. The company said the DHA business is synergistic with its niacin and carnitine brands; all three ingredients benefit some of the same health conditions, such as cardiovascular health. In a released statement, Lonza stated Nutrinovas superior DHA technology, talented workforce and experience in the biotechnology, food and beverage and health care markets make it an excellent complement.
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