BASF's proposed acquisition of fish oil specialist Pronova BioPharma is almost done and dusted now that over 97% of the latter's stockholders have tendered their shares.
Last week, the German group upped its offer by 8% to buy Pronova to 13.50 kroner per share in a bid to win the backing of the 30% of investors who had yet to offer up their shares in in the Norwegian drugmaker. The new offer valued Pronova at about 5 billion kroner (some 684 million euros) and has done the trick.
The Ludwigshafen-headquartered firm noted that 97.7% of all Pronova shares have now been tendered, ie more than the 90% it needed to be in a position to squeeze out the remaining shareholders. BASF expects to finalise the transaction within the next weeks.
Pronova makes the vast majority of revenues (which in the third quarter of 2012 came in at 427.9 million kroner) from Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters), sold by GlaxoSmithKline in the USA and by Abbott (as Omacor) in Europe. Michael Heinz, responsible for BASF's performance products segment, which includes the nutrition and health division, said that “we aim to combine Pronova’s strong expertise and good position in the market for omega-3 fatty acids with BASF’s worldwide market presence and technical know-how".
He concluded by saying that "we are looking forward to working closely with Pronova’s employees in order to form the best team. BASF added that "a detailed integration plan will be developed in a discovery phase after closing".
BASF, the world's largest chemicals firm, is once again looking at health as an area for growth. The group sold its Knoll Pharmaceuticals unit to Abbott in 2001, a deal that included the soon-to-become blockbuster Humira (adalimumab).