Nutreco enters into an agreement to sell its shareholding in Marine Harvest to investment fund Geveran Trading

6 maart 2006

  • Total Nutreco proceeds of MH divestment exceeds EUR 1 billion

  • Divestment generates a net profit of approximately EUR 350 million
Nutreco Holding N.V. has entered today into an agreement to sell all of its 75% shareholding in the aquaculture company Marine Harvest N.V. to the investment fund Geveran Trading Co Ltd for a total amount of EUR 881 million.
 
The total return on Nutreco's investment in the joint venture Marine Harvest - including the repayment of Nutreco's shareholder loan to Marine Harvest of EUR 155 million in February 2006 - amounts to EUR 1,036 million. This represents a net transaction result for Nutreco of approximately EUR 350 million. The buyer will be entitled to the results of Marine Harvest from 1 January 2006.
 
Geveran Trading is part of Greenwich Holding Ltd, a company indirectly controlled by
Mr John Fredriksen. Geveran Trading will also acquire the remaining 25% which is held by Stolt-Nielsen S.A. The Greenwich Group also holds significant stakes in the two Norwegian aquaculture companies Pan Fish ASA and Fjord Seafood ASA.
 
The closing of the transaction will be subject to the approval of regulatory and competition authorities. All associated risks will be borne by the buyer. The proceeds of this transaction will be available for the shareholders of Marine Harvest, Nutreco Holding N.V. and Stolt-Nielsen S.A., after the closing of the transaction. As a consequence of this transaction, no dividend will be paid to these current Marine Harvest shareholders. The preparations for the IPO of Marine Harvest have been put on hold.           
 
Wout Dekker, Nutreco's Chief Executive Officer: "The sale of Marine Harvest to Geveran Trading is an important step for Nutreco. We have now finalised the first phase of our 'Rebalancing for Growth' strategy in an even earlier stage than foreseen. Nutreco's shareholders voted unanimously for the sale of all or at least 34% of Nutreco's shareholding in Marine Harvest. Now we will be able to sell all our shares in this company in a single transaction and unlock substantial shareholder value, as we promised. We will now put all focus on the second phase of our strategy: the growth of Nutreco's core activities in animal nutrition and fish feed. We are well placed to fulfil our growth ambitions."
 
In the last decade Nutreco has played a key role in the growth and development of the salmon industry. From the pioneering days in salmon farming with Mares Australes in Chile, Nutreco was able to build the biggest salmon farming company in the world with the acquisition of Marine Harvest McConnell in 1999 and subsequently the acquisition of Hydro Seafood in 2000. The next important step was made in September 2004 when Nutreco and Stolt-Nielsen announced the plan to merge their fish farming activities. Favourable market conditions for farmed salmon and the rapid progress made in the integration of both parts of the joint venture, helped to finalise the planned divestment of Marine Harvest much earlier than foreseen. The current salmon feed supply contract between Marine Harvest and Nutreco's Skretting will be continued after the closing of the transaction.                 
 
"The transaction creates fantastic growth opportunities for Marine Harvest. As we predicted, the independent joint venture Marine Harvest has indeed acted as a catalyst for further consolidation within the salmon farming industry. It will now be in the centre of a next wave of industry consolidation. This wave will create the sizeable companies in modern aquaculture that will be able to meet the growing demands of consumers all around the globe for high quality and wholesome seafood," said Mr Dekker.  
 
 
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Nutreco Holding N.V.
Nutreco Holding N.V. is an international animal nutrition and fish feed company that seeks to create added value in its markets through the company's knowledge of the food chains. Nutreco has a selective presence in various stages of the fish and meat production chains. Nutreco's Business Groups, each comprising several Business Units, have approximately 75 production and processing plants in about 20 countries with in total 7,000 employees.
 
Nutreco's net sales in 2005 were EUR 3,002.4 million. Nutreco Holding N.V. is quoted on the Official Market of Euronext Amsterdam and is included in the Amsterdam Midkap Index and the Euronext 150 Index.
 
For more information on this press release, please contact:
Frank van Ooijen, Director Corporate Communications, Nutreco Holding N.V.
Telephone:  +31 (0)33 422 61 40
Mobile:         +31 (0)6 55 34 00 12
E-mail:        frank.van.ooijen@nutreco.com

Jurgen Pullens, Manager Investor Relations, Nutreco Holding N.V.
Telefoon:     +31 (0)33 422 6134
E-mail:         jurgen.pullens@nutreco.com