Nestlé have agreed to acquire Atrium Innovations for $2.3bn
Nestlé is set to acquire privately-held Canadian vitamin company Atrium Innovations for $2.3bn. the move will see Nestlé further grow its consumer healthcare business and become a global leader in nutritional health products, as well as enhance its high-growth food and beverage categories
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 following the completion of customary approvals and closing conditions.
Global markets are becoming increasingly health-conscious, leading food and beverage brands to transform its traditional focus and tap into further markets in order to remain competitive and advance their service portfolios.
Upon closing, Atrium, with its corporate offices in Quebec, Canada, will become part of Nestlé Health Science. Its existing management team will continue to manage the business, led by Peter Luther, Atrium Innovations President and Chief Executive Officer.
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"Atrium's brands are a natural complement to our Consumer Care portfolio, which offers nutritional solutions in the areas of Healthy Aging, Healthy Growing, Gut Health and Obesity Care,” explained Greg Behar, Chief Executive Officer for Nestlé Health Science.
“Atrium's portfolio will extend our product range with value-added solutions such as probiotics, plant-based protein nutrition, meal replacements and an extensive multivitamin line, enabling consumers to address their health and wellness goals."
Behar added, "Atrium's established brands are in attractive categories and have the potential for continued strong growth as part of Nestlé through category, channel and geographic expansion. It also represents additional offerings in the segment for non-GMO, organic and natural supplements, a fast-growing consumer trend, as well as a new sales channel."
With sales expected to reach up to $700mn in 2017, Atrium will add to Nestlé’s revenue stream with immediate effect.
Atrium's largest brand, Garden of Life, remains the #1 brand in the natural supplement industry in the US, and also houses brands such as Douglas Laboratories, Orthica, Minami and Pharmax.
NHSX releases new data plans, experts call for transparency
Patients in England will get "greater control" over their health and care data according to new proposals set out by the government.
In a new draft strategy called "Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data", Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock says that more effective use of data will deliver better patient-focused care. "This strategy seeks to put people in control of their own data, while supporting the NHS in creating a modernised system fit for the 21st century which puts patients and staff in pole position."
Under the new plans people will be able to access their medical records from different parts of the health system through different applications, to access test results, medication lists, procedures and care plans.
The strategy, published by NHSX, the government department that sets policies for the use of technology within the NHS, follows delays to the creation of a central database of patient records amid concerns over data sharing and a lack of transparency, with critics saying that only a small proportion of the public were made aware of the plans and the choice to opt out.
Kevin Curran, senior member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Professor of Cybersecurity at the University of Ulster, says that moving health records online raises concerns. "The move to an online app does seem like a natural progression, however there is a difference between having computerised records within our healthcare IT infrastructure and having those records reside on a public facing server.
"Having records inhouse limits the range and type of access – it's far more difficult for remote hackers" Curran said. "There are techniques that healthcare organisations can use to reduce the risk of future data breaches. One way is to make it ‘opt in’, so patients have the choice to decide whether their medical information is moved to a public facing service so that they can access it.
"However, those who do not opt in or download the app instead should have their records hosted in a non-public-facing cloud service. This way, if a data breach does occur, those who never used the app, or not wanted to, will not have had their details released."
The new strategy has been welcomed by some, with an emphasis on the need for transparency. Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: "Health data has played a critical role in the last year – from tracking COVID-19 outbreaks and developing treatments, to getting people booked in for their vaccines. It is critical that the use of data is accelerated if the NHS is to tackle the backlog of care and address the massive health challenges facing the country.
"It is particularly positive that the government has committed to building analytical and data science capability in the NHS and to improving data on social care. To ensure the full potential of data can be realised, the government must ensure transparency on how it will be used and the rights and options people have, as well as engaging with the public and health care professionals to build trust and show people how their data can improve the NHS and save lives."