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Nutreco has agreed to acquire Micronutrients, a global leader in hydroxy-based trace minerals, in a move that might, in the long term, see changes in the composition of Skretting’s aquafeeds.

Although the takeover is largely aimed at enabling Trouw Nutrition, Nutreco's animal nutrition business, to further strengthen its feed additives portfolio, it is also a deal that could lead to changes in Skretting’s feed offerings too.

Indeed, as a spokesperson for Nutreco told Fish Farming Expert, the impact of trace minerals on fish health “is certainly something we in due time will be looking into, as trace minerals are dietary minerals required by all living organisms in very small quantities, and therefore an essential component of fish feed as well.”

“Micronutrients has developed hydroxy trace minerals which, due to their unique structure, have major advantages compared to their inorganic equivalents. First of all, they are better digested by the animal, which means increased efficiency with less input, which is also more sustainable.

“Secondly, they have guaranteed minor impurity levels, which inorganic trace minerals normally do not have; thirdly, hydroxy trace minerals have a lesser negative effect on other nutritional components in feed (such as vitamins and enzymes). This improves the overall nutritional value of the feed.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

In a press release announcing the deal, Knut Nesse, CEO of Nutreco, said: “Our strategy is to address global trends in the animal protein value chain by providing our customers innovative and sustainable nutritional solutions that require advanced technical and application know-how. Micronutrients’ product portfolio fits this strategy.”

Pat James, CEO of Micronutrients, said: “As a global company it [Nutreco] has the resources and network to accelerate Micronutrients’ growth through geographical expansion, also targeting additional animal species. In the longer term, the R&D power of our new owner will further allow Micronutrients’ technological platform to evolve.”