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EW Group Acquires Majority Share of Aqua Gen

by Ellen Hardy
13 February 2008, at 12:00am

GERMANY - World leading salmon and trout breeder Aqua Gen AS has been bought by the EW Group, a German-based company with interests in international poultry genetics. The acquisition will strengthen Aqua Gen's position in the aquaculture sector and enable further genetic progress of its fish breeding programmes and technical development.

EW acquired a majority share holding of the Norwegian-based aquaculture company from Verdane Private Equity AS, the Norwegian Seafood Federation (FHL), Biomar AS and Eidsfjord Sjøfarm AS. Investment interest had been mooted during the autumn 2007 and the acquisition was agreed following a comprehensive bidding process.

Milestone

Aqua Gen currently has a 35 per cent share of the global market for salmon and trout genetics and EW regards its investment as an important milestone.

"It 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, he added.

EW has high hopes for aquaculture and says the joint force of Aqua Gen and the EW Group will enable the exchange of experience and closer collaboration - to the benefit of industry.

Arne Handeland, a partner of Verdane Capital Advisors agrees and say that he is impressed by the progress Aqua Gen has made.

"We 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," he added.

Independence

This transaction assures Aqua Gen's continued independence but aims to strengthen its expertise and standing within the aquaculture sector.

Odd Magne Rødseth, CEO of Aqua Gen says this deal is a perfect match "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.

Ellen Hardy