Speciality chemicals firm Degussa is selling its Belgium-based vitamin B3 business to US company Reilly Industries for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, part of Degussa's strategy to focus on the amino acids activities in its animal nutrition unit, gives Reilly the world's largest capacity for food grade vitamin B3.
The Antwerp business, which generated sales in the double-digit millions euros in 2002, will toll manufacture all vitamin B3 products exclusively for the Reilly Antwerp subsidiary until the two-stage transaction receives final approval from the Belgian government, said Degussa.
Reilly and Degussa have been working together since 1982 when both companies formed joint ventures for the production and sale of vitamin B3 in North America and Europe.
Reilly chief executive officer and president Robert D. McNeeley said the acquisition fits well with the firm's growth strategy. "Reilly is the world's largest supplier of beta picoline, a key raw material for vitamin B3 production." He added that Reilly Antwerp will grow the Belgian business and retain all current staff.
The Indianapolis-headquartered company becomes the second biggest supplier of the vitamin to the feed market.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, naturally present in various foods, is involved in several metabolic processes. It is generally added to foods, especially wheat flour and flour from other grains with poor bioavailability of the nutrient, or taken in supplements to ensure the required daily intake.