EW Group Acquires Majority Shareholding in Aqua Gen13 February 2008
EW GROUP GmbH, the holding company of the world's leading poultry genetics companies, has taken ownership of Aqua Gen AS, the Norwegian-based world market leader in salmon and trout breeding.
The German group acquired a majority shareholding from Verdane Private Equity AS, the Norwegian Seafood Federation (FHL), Biomar AS and Eidsfjord Sjøfarm AS.
A number of suitors had expressed interest in acquiring the shareholding, which was offered for sale earlier this autumn. After a comprehensive bidding process, an agreement with the EW GROUP took place this week.
"Our entry into Aqua Gen represents an important milestone, which extends our priority areas into the expanding aquaculture industry," said Erich Wesjohann, president of the EW GROUP.
"The position Aqua Gen has built up and the results which have been created document that this company has unique expertise and a strong technological edge. A big potential exists for Aqua Gen and the EW GROUP to join forces in securing interesting synergies through the exchange of experience and closer collaboration."
Arne Handeland, a partner of Verdane Capital Advisors shared this view: "We're impressed by the progress Aqua Gen has made and believe that the company can continue its positive development and profit from new opportunities offered by a principal shareholder which is so strong in developing and producing genetic material."
"This transaction assures Aqua Gen's continued independence and I believe it will create an even stronger community of experts and an even better supplier to the aquaculture sector," adds Trond Davidsen at the FHL.
Odd Magne Rødseth, CEO of Aqua Gen is convinced that this deal makes a perfect fit: "I'm pleased at the interest shown in Aqua Gen and very satisfied that we'll be affiliated to a long-term player like the EW GROUP. To be a part of a team of the worlds leading poultry breeding companies will make important genetic knowledge and research resources available to Aqua Gen. Our new relationship with the EW GROUP will contribute to further genetic progress in our breeding programs and strengthen the Aqua Gen position as a trusted and independent supplier to the aquaculture industry."