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HENKEL ACQUIRES 20% EQUITY STAKE IN BETATENE LTD.

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

HENKEL ACQUIRES 20% EQUITY STAKE IN BETATENE LTD. from the Australian firm Denehurst Ltd. for an undisclosed cash sum, Henkel Corp. announced on July 12. Henkel described Betatene as "the world's leading manufacturer of natural beta carotene." Henkel Corp., a U.S.-based subsidiary of the German firm, Henkel Group, is a supplier to the dietary supplements industry and is the world's leading producer of natural vitamin E, the company noted. In addition, Melbourne, Australia-based Betatene has signed a 10-year exclusive supply agreement with Henkel covering the sale of its beta carotene in the North American and European markets. Although Henkel has had an exclusive supply arrangement with Betatene, Henkel said that the deal was motivated by a desire to secure the firm's position in the "natural beta carotene" market. Currently, Henkel markets an encapsulated oil derived from Dunaliella salina, a sea plant "with a rich natural mixture of beta carotenes," according to Henkel. By the first quarter of 1994, however, Henkel plans to extend its beta carotene line to include powdered D. salina in tablet form. The firm now markets its D. salina beta carotene to approximately 20 manufacturers, including Solgar, Twinlab, Vitamer, Nature's Life, Bronson, and Nature's Plus. Beta carotene is Henkel Corp.'s third-largest selling product after vitamin E and sterols, according to the firm, which says that its combined sales qualify it as "the world's largest supplier of natural antioxidants." However, Henkel said it expects its beta carotene sales to increase following the Betatene acquisition. A multinational chemical and consumer goods manufacturer founded in 1876, Henkel Group recorded 1992 sales of $ 9 bil.
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