Epax® has always been dependent on the sea and, as a result, there is an ingrained respect for the life it holds and the many livelihoods its waters provide. The history being closely tied to the sea has created an unmatched passion for all things marine for us.
We have a world-class reputation which stems from a long history in omega-3 research, development and production. It all began in 1838 in Bergen, Norway with the JC Martens Company. JC Martens specialized in refining cod liver oil products. Later, JC Martens merged with Jahres Fabrikker and founded Pronova Biocare in 1991, of which Epax® then represented the business-to-business arm.
Our omega-3 processing operation in Ålesund has its roots back to three former fish oil producers and exporters in that area; Peder Devold (1872), Brødr. Aarsæther (1877) and Oluf Holm (1887). These companies were merged into the Brødr Aarsæther Company in 1971. In 1989 this company was acquired by the cod liver oil producer Lipro AS. Pronova Biocare then merged into one with Lipro in 1998. In 2005, Epax demerged from Pronova and became independent Epax AS.
Each merger between the various companies over time brought new technologies, new distillation processes and expertise with marine products. Lipro, JC Martens and Jahre were among the first to use molecular distillation for fatty acid separation and concentration of marine oils. This long history combined with several more recent major investments in processing, capacity and quality systems have contributed to our position as a leading brand and supplier of high-quality, well-documented EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty concentrates for the global market.
In 2007, ownership of Epax® was acquired by the leading international company in the pelagic fishing, fishmeal and fish oil industry, Austevoll Seafood ASA, which made Epax the only significant omega-3 supplier to be fully integrated from fishing boat to finished product. This vertical integration helped to heighten awareness of the superior product safety, quality and traceability story of Epax® products.
Norwegian biotech company Aker Biomarine and investment group Lindsay Goldberg acquired Epax in 2010. This chapter provided the new Epax AS group with a wider operational area that would include omega-3 based pharmaceutical ingredients, new technologies and expanded capacity.
In 2013, Epax® was aquired by US-based FMC Corporation, and thus expanded its international reach even further, whilst giving renewed focus on upgrading and improving the production facilities.
Today, we have found our home with fellow Norwegians in Pelagia AS. Pelagia will bring Epax® resources and dedication to further expansion and growth. With a strategic partnership in place that guarantees a long-term supply source, the ongoing commitment to quality control from sea to finished ingredient for maximum product safety and traceability remains unchanged.
The district stretches along the majestic mountain peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps and across the beautiful deep fjords onwards to the sea. Ålesund is perched on a series of small islands on the coast, of which the continental shelf extends with hundreds of miles of rich fishing grounds and oil reserves. The city’s economy is fuelled by its proximity to the sea and access to fisheries. Ålesund is the most important fishing harbour in all of Norway.