New London based supplement firm Burr and Burr has announced the completion of two brand acquisitions totalling £35m within the omega-3 health supplement sector.
OmegaVita and GO3 make Burr and Burr’s first portfolio procurements after the firm was registered in August this year with the view to acquire all assets of the two existing brands.
Burr and Burr director and founder of several private equity firms, Edward Fitzpatrick, said: "Financing the business was not the easiest and negotiations have been on-going for over 12 months... We have brought together a number of private equity groups for phase one and now going into the next phase with extreme confidence.”
Chris Thornblom, interim CEO said: "We are well underway in our development phase and will continuously seek to acquire additional brands that have a strategic fit with our plan of becoming a leading player in the health supplement field.”
“This is not a drug”
The company claims that its products will outperform sales of pharma drug versions of omega-3. Thornblom told NutraIngredients that this is a question of psychology, saying consumers would be more inclined to buy "natural" nutritional products over "drug" pharmaceutical versions if the products do the same thing. Playing on this, the firm is in the process of registering a trademark for the branding concept "This is not a Drug".
"We are recognising the increased awareness of consumers and expect a growing trend to seek out fish oil supplements with higher concentrations of omega-3. We think the gap between omega-3 food supplements and the registered omega-3 drugs currently on the market is destined to become smaller as buyers will likely choose products with higher levels of the actives, EPA and DHA, in order to optimise the health benefits of these widely researched ingredients," Thornblom said.
"Burr and Burr products will be readily available to everyone and will not require a prescription as they are not, as we state, a drug," he added.
Discussing the market with NutraIngredients earlier this year Adam Ismail, executive director of GOED the not-for-profit trade association focused on growing the markets for EPA and DHA products, said that the omega-3 pharma market is growing in importance but that progress in the area is somewhat slow since each individual product in that market must be approved.
“There are more than 36 EPA or DHA-based pharmaceutical products in the pipeline right now, but only three have been approved in the world and they mainly treat the same condition, severe hypertriglyceridemia,” he told us at the time.
Burr and Burr's CEO, Thornblom, said that the company is currently focus on the omega-3 market but would extend to other health products including food and nutritional supplements in the future. He told NutraIngredients that the company has established a business relationship with a company in Cape Town to assist with the registration of the products and launch in the South African market.
The company will also build on existing avenues of opportunity such as Brazil where GO3 is already approved for omega-3 with plans to start the registration process for the rest of the product range through a local partner which distributes to pharmacies nationwide.
Elsewhere, Thornblom said: "Through GO3 Burr and Burr has a registered and protected brand in China, and the Chinese partnership has been established to operate out of Tianjin, distributing all over China. The first step is to cover Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian and Shanghai. Test production of adding our omega3 emulsions was also done last year together with a Chinese partner."
The OmegaVita take over bought Scandinavian links through a standing online business partnership with the Norwegian Cancer Foundation, for which Thornblom said OmegVita has been the largest contributor to research over the last ten years.
He said that Burr and Burr are also in discussions with a distributor in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries in the UAE. "Products have already been delivered for approval to Saudi Arabia, and with this approval we are able to distribute to all UAE," he explained.