BASF Acquires Global Leader in Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Ludwigshafen, Germany – May 9, 2012 – BASF today announced the acquisition of Equateq Ltd., a global leader in the manufacturing of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. With the acquisition, BASF extends its portfolio of omega-3 products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries with a new offering of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. “We are further strengthening our position as a leading supplier of ingredients for the nutrition and health industries,” said Walter Dissinger, President of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.

Adam Kelliher, former owner and founder of Equateq, added: “Bringing together the two companies allows us to combine the global market reach and the long-time experience of BASF with the unique technologies of Equateq.” The company gives particular acknowledgement to Highlands and Islands Enterprise, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, which have both provided financial support to the company during the development of its business.

Equateq has a production site located on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland with 47 employees. Equateq with all its employees will be integrated into the Pharma Ingredients & Services unit, which is part of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division. The integration is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

Unique technology for customized fatty acid production Equateq’s proprietary chromatographic separation methods allow flexible formulation of omega-3 fatty acids at exceptional purity levels. “Equateq’s technologies will enable us to customize fatty acid concentrates with variable ratios of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) at concentration levels of up to 99 percent purity. This is unique in the market,” explained Martin Widmann, Senior Vice President, Pharma Ingredients & Services at BASF.

In nutritional applications, especially dietary supplements, relevant essential fatty acids serve specific health conditions – for example eye health, brain health or heart health. In pharmaceutical products, highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. “By extending our product range of omega-3 fatty acids, we show once more our commitment to the health and well-being of consumers all over the world,” emphasized Dissinger.

Growing market for omega-3 fatty acids

BASF believes that highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are a global growing market. Increasing consumer awareness of the health benefits of omega-3 is fueling double-digit growth for omega-3 products in the years to come. At the end of 2011 BASF Plant Science announced an agreement with Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, to co-develop a new dietary source of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acid available by the end of the decade. A next generation canola oil containing EPA/DHA will enable food, pharma-ceutical and nutritional supplement manufacturers to deliver the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids into an even wider variety of new, cost-effective consumer products.

About Equateq

Equateq is a lipid production company. Its facility in the Western Isles of Scotland has been involved in the concentration of lipids for nearly 30 years. Equateq is fully cGMP compliant, as certified by the UK's health authority (MHRA), and for manufacturing lipid APIs uses its Maxomega™ technology. This concentration method is based on advanced HPLC separation, and allows Equateq to deliver specific lipid APIs at up to 99 percent purity at commercial scale.

About Nutrition & Health

BASF’s Nutrition & Health division develops, produces and markets a comprehensive range of products and services for the pharmaceuticals, aroma chemicals, human nutrition and animal nutrition industries. The division addresses customer needs and enhances consumers’ well-being and quality of life. Nutrition & Health provides the pharmaceutical industry with active ingredients such as caffeine and ibuprofen, as well as excipients and customized synthesis services. The division produces aroma chemicals such as citral and geraniol for the flavor and fragrance industry. Important human nutrition products are vitamins and carotenoids, plant sterols, emulsifiers and omega-3 fatty acids. Its feed additives such as vitamins, carotenoids and enzymes make Nutrition & Health a worldwide leader for the animal nutrition market.

About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at

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