Nutreco to acquire Hydro Seafood


Norsk Hydro ASA - the Norwegian oil, energy, metals and fertilizer group - has entered into final and exclusive negotiations with the Dutch company Nutreco Holding N.V. to sell its salmon production and sales activities operating as Hydro Seafood AS. It is expected that a final agreement will be reached during the first half of April. Such agreement will be subject to approval by the authorities. The sale of Hydro Seafood is in line with the strategic decision of Norsk Hydro to divest non-core activities, as announced October last year.

Hydro Seafood is the largest Atlantic salmon producer and processor with a global market share of 11 percent. The company is fully integrated with salmon production, processing, sales, marketing and distribution activities. The production facilities are located in Norway, Scotland, the Shetland Islands and Ireland. It has a global sales force and logistics network supplying over 800 clients in more than 50 countries. Hydro Seafood has 1500 employees and had in 1999 a turnover of NOK 2245 million (EUR 280 million).

Nutreco, which is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, has aquaculture as its core business. It is a leading supplier of feed to the fish farming industry and is active in salmon production, processing, sales and marketing in several countries. With the acquisition of Hydro Seafood, Nutreco strengthens its position as the number one aquaculture company world wide.

Nutreco has been a leading player in the Norwegian aquaculture industry for 20 years. As owner of Skretting, Nutreco has been active in the development of the fish farming industry in Norway. Skretting has three fish feed factories in Norway. The acquisition of Hydro Seafood confirms the commitment of Nutreco to the Norwegian aquaculture industry.

"This move will allow us to develop an even stronger aquaculture industry in Norway, based on the experience we have built throughout the years and to build a strong marketing and sales organisation led from Norway for value added salmon products world wide" comments Nutreco Chief Operating Officer, Wout Dekker, who from 1 July will take over as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

Managing Director of Hydro Seafood, Asbjørn Reinkind, will be responsible in Nutreco Aquaculture for the integration of the global salmon farming and sales activities, and he will become a member of the Nutreco Management Committee. This new business group of Nutreco, will market 150 000 tonnes of salmon and be managed out of Bergen, Norway.

"We are excited to have Nutreco as the new owner of the company. Nutreco has shown a long term commitment to the Norwegian aquaculture industry and we look forward to strengthen the further development of the farming, sales and marketing activities of Nutreco’s global salmon business", comments Managing Director of Hydro Seafood, Asbjørn Reinkind.

Nutreco Aquaculture is the market leader in the four main salmon fish feed markets - Norway, Chile, Canada and UK/Ireland - as well as in the European trout market. The company holds a strong position in salmon production, processing, sales and marketing with a world market share of 9 percent.

Nutreco Aquaculture's international centres for research and development and for technology are located in Stavanger, Norway. The R&D activities, which will be strengthened by the competence of Hydro Seafood, are the most extensive in the aquaculture world and benefit all Nutreco Aquaculture customers.

Nutreco Aquaculture had a turnover of EUR 690 million (NOK 5,5 Billion) in 1999. Including Hydro Seafood, Nutreco Aquaculture wil have annual sales of EUR 970 million ( NOK 7.8 billion), of which 37 percent in Norway. It will employ 4900 people, of which 1200 in Norway, and have operations and sales offices in 19 countries.

"Norsk Hydro is most satisfied having found a future owner of Hydro Seafood that meets our requirements as to industrial strength, that will enable Hydro Seafood to further grow its activities and to invest in its future development, " says Norsk Hydro Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Leiv Nergaard.