In for the krill: Aker BioMarine has bought Neptune's krill assets. Photo: Krillfacts

Aker BioMarine pays £26m for krill business

Fish feed producer and krill harvester Aker BioMarine has bought the krill oil business of Canadian pharmaceuticals company Neptune Technologies and Bioressources for US$34 million (£26.2m).

The deal involves the transfer of Neptune’s krill oil inventory and intellectual property to Aker BioMarine.

“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,” said Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine.

Sustainable krill harvesting

“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 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.”

Aker BioMarine’s new krill vessel will cost NOK1bn. Image: Aker BioMarine

Aker BioMarine develops krill-based ingredients for nutraceutical, aquaculture, and animal feed applications. Its Qrill Aqua whole dried krill and QHP (Qrill High Protein) products are designed for used in formulated feed for salmonids, shrimp and farmed marine fish such as sea bream. Its Krill Astaxanthin Oil can be supplemented into aquaculture diets to effectively increase pigmentation.

The Norwegian company claims Qrill Aqua encourages far better uptake of feed than conventional fishmeal, and “is proven to help speed up farmed fish growth by between 10 per cent and a staggering 25 per cent. This effect is particularly beneficial for stocks such as Rainbow Trout, which typically suffer reduced appetite with plant-based feeds.”

In February Aker BioMarine placed a NOK1 billion (£97m) order with Norwegian shipbuilder VARD for a new 130-metre-long krill vessel, which will be equipped with the latest and most advanced eco-friendly technology. The ship will contain a production and processing facility capable of processing raw krill material in the Antarctic.

The vessel is expected to complete at the end of 2018 and be in operation in the Antarctic from the beginning of the 2019 season.

Published: 09/08/2017 at 9:50 am

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