News

25 January 2016

Equity Strategies successfully advises on $342m nutrition and health acquisition

​Equity Strategies is pleased to announce its lead role in the acquisition of INVE Aquaculture Holding B.V.

​Equity Strategies is pleased to announce its lead role in the transformational acquisition of INVE  ("INVE") by its client Benchmark Holdings plc (“Benchmark”) for a total consideration of $342m, $300m of which was paid in cash and $42m through the issue of Consideration Shares. This is the sixth acquisition by Benchmark since its IPO in 2013 led by Equity Strategies.

INVE is a leading specialist manufacturer of primary stage technically advanced nutrition and health products for aquaculture and is headquartered in Dendermonde, Belgium with operational facilities in Thailand, USA and China. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full financial year post-completion.

The purchase price represents 14.1 times INVE's adjusted post tax profits for 2014 and 12.1 times its unaudited adjusted post tax profits for the twelve months ending 31st July 2015.

INVE will form a new Advanced Animal Nutrition division within Benchmark. The enlarged group will integrate Benchmark and INVE's individual R&D and specialist aquaculture trial facilities, biological research programs and technologies. The Advanced Animal Nutrition division will be headed by INVE's CEO, Philippe Leger.  

Malcolm Pye, Chief Executive of Benchmark said: "The acquisition of INVE makes Benchmark a global leader in the aquaculture technology market overnight. Aquaculture is not only a multi-billion dollar sector but one of the fastest growing in the food industry." 

Leon Boros, Managing Director, Equity Strategies commented, “we are delighted this acquisition, which we initiated over two and half years ago and in which we played a lead role, has come to fruition. This was a challenging transaction involving a highly competitive auction process, multiple stakeholders, complex legal and tax issues and advisers in multiple territories. Our extended role included commercial analysis, financial projections, negotiations, bid strategy, management incentives, deal structuring and valuation”.

Any potential acquisition opportunities should be directed to Leon Boros at leon@equitystrategies.co.uk

Mobile: + 44 (0)7876 025758

Direct: + 44 (0)20 3793 7310

Web:  www.equitystrategies.co.uk

Links:

Company Web Site: http://www.benchmarkplc.com/our-structure/

RNS 

Acquisition: http://www.investegate.co.uk/benchmark-hlgs-plc/rns/placing-and-acquisition/201512140700078855I/

Notes to Editor

Benchmark Holdings plc

Founded in 2000, Benchmark represents a new model in sustainable business development. Over the last decade it has built a profitable group of companies on the economics of a sustainable food chain.

Benchmark is an ethical company with an explicit policy based on the "3E's" definition of a sustainable business - ethics, environment and economics - which guides its strategy and operations.   The Company listed on AIM in December 2013 and has a diverse range of investors including Woodfood Investment Management, Invesco, Slater Investments, Landsdowne Partners, Hargreave Hale, Polar Capital, Miton Group and high net worth individuals.   

The existing Group has five divisions: Animal Health which research, manufactures and markets medicines and vaccines particularly for aquaculture; Sustainable Science which research and informs sustainable development in the food industry; Technical Publishing which effects technology transfer through online publishing and education; Breeding and Genetics which plays a primary role in the development of animal production, efficiency, health, welfare and sustainability in the global livestock and aquaculture industries and finally Advanced Animal Nutrition, recently created following the acquisition of Inve Aquaculture. Benchmark operates internationally with offices in the UK, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, USA, Brazil, China, Russia and Thailand and, as at August, employed 280 people.

Inve Aquaculture

The INVE Group is a leading specialist manufacturer of primary stage technically advanced aquaculture and nutrition health products for shrimp and marine species of fin fish. INVE enjoys a leading market position with more than a 20 per cent. share in the global shrimp and marine fin fish hatchery/nursery larval diets segment respectively, and sells into more than 70 countries. Through its relationship with the United States based Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, INVE has strategic access to high quality artemia and also has long standing relationships with artemia suppliers in the CIS and China. INVE has manufacturing facilities in Thailand, the USA and China supported by regional warehouses serving customers worldwide. INVE is led by an experienced management team.

The global production of these species is estimated to represent approximately 17 per cent. of total aquaculture production, equating to $39.9 billion in value. INVE's core segment, the hatchery segment for shrimp and marine fin fish is estimated to account for $1.4 billion (Source: World Bank: Fish 2030).

The INVE Group's products fall within three main categories: live feed (artemia), replacement diets and health products. INVE focuses on advanced nutrition and health products, underpinned by its expertise and IP portfolio in early stage feeding. INVE has a pipeline of 40 products with a strategic focus on in-feed health and disease prevention. In addition, a number of international partnerships with leading universities, institutions and individuals support INVE's continued innovation in new products and technologies.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2014, the INVE Group generated total revenue of $89.0 million (£54.0 million) and EBITDA of $25.4 million (£15.4 million). In the financial year ended 31 December 2013, the INVE Group generated total revenue of $72.9 million (approximately £46.4 million) and EBITDA of $14.5 million (approximately £9.3 million). For the seven months ended 31 July 2015 the INVE Group generated total revenue of $60.6 million (£39.6 million and EBITDA of $15.2 million (£10.0 million).

Equity Strategies Limited

Equity Strategies is a deal origination and advisory corporate finance firm with a particular focus on the animal health, education and training sectors. Equity Strategies acts for a number of PLCs and private equity firms seeking acquisition opportunities in the UK and overseas. The firm also advises business owners on trade sales, raising private equity or preparing for an IPO.

The Company’s principals have managed corporate transactions in the mid-market arena with an aggregate value in excess of $1bn in the animal health, education, training, outsourcing, IT, recruitment and transport sectors in deals ranging in value from $3m to $350m.

 

Equity Strategies is an Appointed Representative of Sapia Partners LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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