BASF said today its U.S. affiliate will acquire Verenium in a deal designed to heighten the German chemical giant’s presence in strategic enzymes. BASF said the deal had a value of $62 million, based on all outstanding shares and including all net financial liabilities.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions including acquisition of a majority of outstanding Verenium shares upon closing of the transaction. That is expected to occur in the fourth quarter.

Based in San Diego, Verenium uses genomic technologies to extract microbial DNA directly from collected samples rather than the slower process of growing microbes in the lab, then identifies product candidates through high-throughput screening. The company says it possesses the world’s broadest genetic library for enzyme discovery, based on microbes discovered in the earth’s most biodiverse environments, such as volcanoes, rain forests, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Verenium markets 10 industrial enzymes serving what it says are high-growth segments of the $3 billion global industrial enzyme market, including Phyzyme® XP phytase, an animal health and nutrition product. Phyzyme XP phytase, developed in collaboration with DuPont Industrial Biosciences (formerly Danisco Animal Nutrition), is designed to improve the digestibility of phosphorus and other nutrients naturally contained in animal feed, enabling food producers to reduce feed costs.

Other markets for Verenium enzymes include grain processing, oil field services, and other industrial processes.

Verenium generated $57 million in sales last year, compared with €72.1 billion (about $97.6 billion) for BASF.

BASF said it will finance the acquisition with operating cash, and that its offer represented a 56% premium above the volume-weighted average share price for Verenium shares in the six months preceding the deal.

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