TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Veterinary drugmaker Zoetis, looking to capitalize on increasing global demand for farmed fish, is buying the top maker of vaccines and other health products for aquaculture.
Zoetis said Monday it will pay $765 million for privately held Pharmaq of Oslo, Norway.
Fish is the most-consumed protein worldwide, and farmed fish account for about half of all fish consumption, up from just 15 percent in 1990.
Compared to cattle, poultry and other livestock, farmed fish receive far fewer vaccines and medicines to keep them healthy. However, sales of health products for aquaculture, which totaled about $400 million last year, has been growing at 7 percent to 8 percent a year, according to Zoetis.
Zoetis, based in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the world's biggest maker of medicines for pets and farm animals. It was spun off by prior owner Pfizer Inc. in 2013. Zoetis sells products including LymeVax, the first Lyme disease vaccine for dogs in the U.S.; Revolution, for protecting dogs and cats from fleas, heartworms and other parasites; and Convenia, a one-shot treatment for dogs with common bacterial skin infections.
Acquiring Pharmaq gives Zoetis vaccines, diagnostic products and parasite-killing drugs such as AlphaMax, which protects farmed salmon from sea lice.
Zoetis CEO Juan Ramon Alaix said in a statement that Pharmaq brings his company both "market leadership in aquatic health and a strong late-stage pipeline" of animal health treatments. The deal is expected to close by Nov. 10.
Pharmaq had revenue of about $80 million last year and its revenue increased by 24 percent in the first half of this year. It's is owned by a company backed by a fund operated by global investment fund Permira.
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