Martek Buys Finished Products Brand

Martek Biosciences Corporation of Columbia, MD, will make its first venture into finished goods manufacturing with the purchase of Amerifit Brands. Martek, the maker of life’sDHA (an algae-based source of DHA), purchased Amerifit for $200 million in cash ($80 million in loans, $120 million from cash reserves).

The goal of the purchase, according to Marktek’s CEO Steve Durbin in a press statement, is to have a solid platform upon which to develop consumer brands for new products in its pipeline. Previously, Martek only marketed its signature ingredient as a raw material. “This new capability will enable Martek to move up the value chain by getting closer to the consumer and should result in increased revenue and gross profit opportunities,” Durbin stated. Analysts quoted in the Baltimore Sun agree that it’s a good financial move for Martek to diversify. New products under the Amerifit brand are planned to come to market in 2011 and 2012.

This move is the second acquisition for Martek. In 2002, it paid $90 million for OmegaTech.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2010