BioMar has agreed to divest its 50.71% ownership interest in the Norwegian fish farming business Sjøtroll Havbruk. The buyer is Norway-based Lerøy Seafood Group, one of Norway's leading salmon farming businesses. The agreement is subject to ordinary terms and conditions, including to authority approval.
The selling price of the shares in Sjøtroll is NOK 540 million, equal to an enterprise value of NOK 1,298 million on a 100% basis at August 31, 2010. The selling price consists of NOK 408.5 million in cash and 1 million shares in Lerøy, which in the agreement have been valued at NOK 131.5 per share. Ownership of the shares in Lerøy, which are not subject to any restrictions, will be reviewed on a regular basis, but Schouw & Co. sees promising perspectives both for Lerøy and for the fish farming industry in general.
Since taking an ownership interest in Sjøtroll in 2004 as part of a refinancing solution, BioMar has in-vested a total of NOK 313 million and received total dividends of NOK 65 million. Given the current sell-ing price, this equals a return on the investment of 16.5% p.a.
Jens Bjerg Sørensen, President of Schouw & Co. and chairman of BioMar, is very pleased with the di-vestment: "We've achieved a good return on our investment, and we see Lerøy as a good future owner of Sjøtroll." BioMar supplies most of the feed used by Sjøtroll, and the current feed contract will continue unchanged. "BioMar and Lerøy have a long-standing business relationship, and I expect the good relations to continue," says Jens Bjerg Sørensen.
"Initially, the proceeds from the divestment will be used to optimise the capital structure and reduce the debt in Schouw & Co., but we would also like to continue increasing the investments in our businesses, both in BioMar and the other businesses of our group," says Jens Bjerg Sørensen.
For accounting purposes, Schouw & Co. has treated Sjøtroll as discontinuing operations, recognising the financial results in the income statement under 'profit/loss from discontinuing operations', which is measured after tax. Accordingly, the sale of Sjøtroll has no accounting effect on EBIT.
Schouw & Co.'s Q3 2010 interim report is scheduled for November 4. Further financial details regarding the transaction will be announced in connection with the closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place within the next six weeks.
Questions relating to the above should be directed to Jens Bjerg Sørensen, President, on tel. +45 8611 2222. Reference is also made to the announcement issued by Lerøy, which is available from www.leroy.no.