Aker’s executive vice president, Matts Johansen, told NutraIngredients.com: “The partnership with Compson in Taiwan will give Aker BioMarine hands-on experience in Asia, giving us the opportunity to learn more about the key market drivers and industry practices in a region that will be of high importance…in the future.”
Although the company still identifies the US as its key market, with European consumption trends lagging up to two years behind, it believes there is considerable potential to develop sales in Taiwan and Asia.
The Taiwanese population of 23m people spends on average NT$100 on medical and personal care each year. (32NT$=1US$). The country is one of the richest in Asia, just behind Japan, and often repeats consumption trends noted in the US market, said the company.
Aker values the Taiwanese nutraceutical market as worth about NT$ 67.7bn in 2008. “How much of that we can target with Superba Krill oil is still too early to say, as we need to learn more about the formats of which dietary supplements are consumed, such as liquid versus capsules, and how Superba Krill claims can be built,” said Johansen. But there is an increasing demand for cardiovascular health products in the region, he added.
The Taiwanese cardio care supplemental food market is valued at nearly USD$ 412m and has grown by up to 10 per cent in the past three years. Also cardiovascular conditions were ranked as the second most common cause of death in the Taiwanese population, according to government report published last year.
Compson plans to target the cardio care market growth with Superba Krill Oil to replace the fish oil and harp seal oil; the market’s traditional source of DHA and EPA omega-3s.
The company also plans to develop other markets for Superba krill oil including as an anti-inflammatory ingredient and in women’s health products.
Under the terms of this agreement,Aker will partner Compson to develop the Taiwanese market for Superba Krill Oil. Compson will be the Norwegian supplier’s exclusive distributor in Taiwan using all relevant sales channels.
Founded 15 years ago, Compson Trade is a leading supplier of dietary and pharmaceutical products in Taiwan.
Aker sees the new partnership as a landing stage to exploit other Asian markets. “We are currently working both with regulatory processes and having commercial discussions in other markets in Asia,” said Johansen. “But we will take one step at a time making sure we gain valuable experience along the way.”
Meanwhile, Aker has announced that it has raised NOK 638m (€81.91m) through its recent rights offering. The company plans to issue 638m new shares with a nominal value of NOK 1.00. That will increase its share capital to more than NOK 728m corresponding to a total of 728,112,121 shares in the company with a nominal value of NOK 1.00 per share, it said.