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Pharmaq acquires Fish Vet Group for £14 million

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The Fish Vet Group is the leading provider of veterinary and diagnostic services in the UK aquaculture sector and also has offices in Norway, Chile and Ireland

The Fish Vet Group – which is the UK’s leading finfish health company and also has offices in Ireland, Norway and Chile – has been acquired by Pharmaq - a Norwegian subsidiary of Zoetis.

The Inverness-headquartered company has been sold by Benchmark Holdings for a total cash consideration of £14.4 - £14.7 million.

The sale comprises Benchmark's veterinary and diagnostic services activities in the UK, Ireland, Norway and Chile. The final consideration will depend on certain final costs to be borne by Benchmark.

The transaction is another step in Benchmark's strategy to exit non-core areas and focus on its key disciplines in the global aquaculture markets. The sale of FVG, together with the sale of Improve International in June, has raised £27.25 million, including £3.25 million in deferred consideration, in line with expectations.

According to a statement released by Benchmark this morning, the sale “significantly strengthens the group's financial position and liquidity”.

To date, the company has sold or exited seven businesses, generating up to £30.3 million in cash proceeds, including £3.75 million in deferred consideration.

Benchmark says it will continue to progress the review of its vaccine strategy and the exit from its activities in companion animal products.

Trond Williksen, CEO of Benchmark, commented: "I am very pleased to announce this transaction, the proceeds of which together with those from the sale of Improve International last week, are in line with our expectations. These disposals represent a significant step forward in our strategy to become a streamlined, profitable business focused on our key areas of competency."

"The FishVet team is a highly talented group. I would like to thank every member of the team and wish them success in the future."

"Raising healthy fish to meet the demands of our growing global population while respecting the environment is critical for a healthier, more sustainable future,” said Rob Kelly, executive vice president and president of international operations for Zoetis. “Innovative fish health management tools, across the continuum of care and including vaccines and diagnostic testing, will help us better meet the needs of our customers. We are excited to welcome Fish Vet Group to our aquaculture team at Pharmaq and together offer fish producers the most comprehensive suite of fish health solutions.”

“We are excited to join the team at Pharmaq to accelerate our offering in fish health, environment and diagnostics services,” said Jan Petter Berg, Fish Vet Group global manager. “We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and supporting good fish health in aquaculture systems world-wide.”