Napro has seen double-digit growth in the recent years, and the mushrooming of the omega-3 market has led it to expand its processing facilities on the west coast of Norway and invest in new equipment, including a new distillation unit.
A spokesperson for Cognis told NutraIngredients.com that the acquisition (financial details of which have not been disclosed) will open up even better growth opportunities, thanks to "the combination of high quality and purity omega-3's from Napro with Cognis' global distribution network and comprehensive".
For Cognis' part, the acquisition, expected to close by the end of June, is seen as the next step in its corporate strategy to grow in step with new health trends.
Omega-3 is amongst the most prominent trends in the health sector, with thousands of studies investigating its benefits for cardiovascular health, cognitive function and others.
New ingredients making use of technology to improve the stability in formulations, and overcome the fishy taste and flavour are launched to the market every month - the latest being Firmenich's Duralife Omega 3, unveiled at the end of last month.
Cognis is also looking to apply its technological know-how to the ingredient, said the spokesperson, "currently developing innovative solutions for a variety of food applications including omega-3 products with a superior sensory profile".
Market research indicates that the global marine oil market is set to grow at a rate of 13 per cent per annum to be worth $993m in 2010. The predicted EU growth rate is 6 per cent per annum. Concentrates, such as Napro's ethyl ester and triglyceride forms, are said to lead the category.
Other healthy products in Cognis' healthy portfolio include Vegapure natural plant sterols and sterol esters, Tonalin CL, Xangold natural lutein esters and Covitol natural-source vitamin E. Omega-3 is said to be a good compliment to these ingredients and the indications at which they are aimed.