DSM to buy omega-3 supplier Martek

by Jeff Gelski
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HEERLEN, THE NETHERLANDS — DSM plans to strengthen is position in the United States and in infant formula application ingredients and other nutritional ingredients through a planned acquisition of Martek Biosciences Corp. for more than $1 billion, Heerlen-based DSM said Dec. 21. DSM will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Martek Biosciences Corp. for total consideration of $1,087 million under a definitive agreement for an all-cash tender offer reached by the two companies. The agreed price of $31.50 per share represents a premium price of 35% to Martek’s closing share price of $23.36 on Dec. 20.

Martek, Columbia, Md., offers polyunsaturated fatty acids, the omega-3 fatty acid DHS (docosahexaenoic acid) and the omega-6 fatty acid ARA (arachidonic acid). Martek offers the life’sDHA branded ingredient, which is DHA produced from algae. It is expected DSM’s global market reach, technology base and application skill capabilities will accelerate Martek’s growth.

Martek had product sales of $434.8 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, which was up 32% from the previous fiscal year. Fiscal year sales for nutritional ingredients for infant formula were $317.3 million, up 11%, while fiscal-year sales for nutritional ingredients for foods and beverages were $10.7 million, up 59%.

“We are pleased to announce this transaction, and we believe that it is in the best interest of Martek and our stockholders,” said Steve Dubin, chief executive officer of Martek. “After careful analysis, our board of directors unanimously approved this transaction with DSM, which has a strong reputation and global operations.

“We are pleased that this transaction appropriately recognized the value of Martek’s nutritional ingredients, technology platform, market position and skilled workforce, while providing significant value to our stockholders. We have worked collaboratively with DSM for many years, and we are confident that they share our vision for Martek’s future.”

DSM’s supervisory board approved the transaction. Martek’s board of directors recommends it. The transaction is expected to close in the first or second quarter of 2011.

“This acquisition is an attractive and logical next step for DSM,” said Feike Sijbesma, c.e.o. and chairman of the DSM managing board. “Martek’s leading position in healthy, natural ingredients and algal technology will add a new growth platform to our nutrition business. DSM is a unique partner for Martek, and with our strong track record of growing businesses in competitive environments, we believe we can help to lift Martek to the next level.”

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