Benchmark hatches plan for possible sale

Benchmark Genetics ova

The fish health and genetics business Benchmark may be sold as a whole or in part, the group’s board has said.

Benchmark has its headquarters in the UK, but its operations are worldwide with a strong emphasis on Norway and other major fish farming countries.

The board of Benchmark Holdings, the group’s parent company, said today in an Oslo Stock Exchange announcement announcement that it believes that the current share price significantly underestimates the overall value of the businesses and the long-term prospects of the company, which may at least partly be due to illiquid shares.

It adds: “After consulting with the company’s major shareholders, the board has unanimously decided to conduct a formal review of the company’s strategic opportunities.”

Among these possibilities is a sale of all or part of the company.

Benchmark Holdings has a market valuation of NOK four billion (around ÂŁ300m) and reported revenues of almost ÂŁ170m last year.

The board said the current share price materially undervalues” the combined value of Benchmark’s businesses and the long-term prospects of the company.

As a result, having consulted with the company’s major shareholders, the board has decided to undertake a formal review of the company’s strategic options including sale of the company as a whole, or the sale of one or more individual business units.

Whether either of those options is followed up will depend, the announcement said, on “…whether there is a bidder or bidders prepared to offer a value for the company or its individual business units that the Board considers attractive relative to the Board’s view of intrinsic value.”

The board stressed: “Shareholders are advised that there can be no certainty that an offer for the company will be made or a sale of individual business units undertaken, nor as to the terms on which any offer or sale will be made.”

Benchmark has three main divisions, all focused on aquaculture: Benchmark Genetics, Benchmark Animal Health and Benchmark Advanced Nutrition.

Benchmark Genetics is one of the leading breeding and genetics providers for the fish farming industry worldwide, with a particular emphasis on salmon and shrimp.

Since Benchmark Health was established it has supported salmon farmers throughout the world to manage sea lice utilising its Salmosan® Vet treatment.

Two years ago it launched Ectosan® Vet – the first sea lice veterinary medicinal treatment introduced to the Norwegian salmon market in over a decade.

Used exclusively together with CleanTreat®, its award-winning water purification system, the new solution has been a breakthrough development for the company.

Benchmark Health supports fish farmers in the UK, Norway, Faroe Islands, Canada, and Chile.

CleanTreat technician, Benchmark Group

 

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