Corrected: Dutch DSM enters algae-based chemicals with Martek acquisition

22 December 2010 22:04  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined "Corrected: Dutch DSM enters algae-based chemicals with Martek acquisition" dated 22 December 2010, please read in the third paragraph …Martek currently has… instead of …DSM currently has…. A corrected story follows.

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Dutch chemical company DSM plans to capitalise on the development of algae-based chemicals with its $1.09bn (€828m) acquisition of US nutritional oil firm Martek Biosciences, a company official said on Wednesday.

Martek produces omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for its nutritional oils by using a strain of algae.

Martek currently has an algae technology pipeline that can be used for industrial biotechnology applications, but it does not have an existing business for it yet, said Stephan Tanda, managing board member of DSM responsible for the life sciences, nutrition and pharma businesses in the Americas.

“We have different microorganisms that we use in our manufacturing streams, and we think that algae can be a good addition to our industrial biotechnology portfolio. One of the feedstocks... that we have not used is algae,” Tanda added.

DSM’s primary reason for the Martek acquisition is its polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) products omega-3 DHA and omega-6 ARA (arachidonic acid) for use in infant formula, supplements and for food and beverage applications.

Martek’s industrial biotechnology pipeline, which includes algae-based biodiesel development in collaboration with oil firm BP, will be a nice addition to DSM’s Biobased Products and Services Emerging Business Area (EBA), Tanda said.

Martek started its multi-year biodiesel development collaboration with BP in mid 2009.

“We fully expect the Martek/BP biofuel collaboration to be an integral part of that EBA,” he added.

If the acquisition goes through, Tanda expects Martek to become a US-based subsidiary of DSM, with Martek management continuing to run the business. 

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Doris de Guzman
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