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USA/FRANCE - ADM moves to buy Neovia, including Epicore and BernAqua

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

In a move that would substantially increase ADM’s aquaculture footprint, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) announced that it has agreed to terms granting exclusivity in discussions to purchase Neovia. The 100 percent cash deal has an approximate enterprise value of €1.535 billion, subject to customary adjustments.

“The acquisition of global leader Neovia would represent a transformative step for our Animal Nutrition business, and a major strategic investment in France,” said Juan Luciano, Chairman and CEO of ADM. “At ADM, everything starts with the farmer, and we are eager to deepen our relationships with French farmers and French agriculture as we bring together the resources, technologies and expertise of two great companies. We look forward to working with them to leverage their global presence, integrated value chain and world-class innovation to reach new markets and new customers together."

“The acquisition of Neovia would be a major step as we continue to execute the value creation strategy we first outlined in 2014,” Luciano continued. “Neovia is a major global provider of animal nutrition solutions, with significant operations in Western Europe, South and Central America, and Southeast Asia. Combining Neovia’s global presence and product and innovation expertise with our own growing Animal Nutrition footprint and capabilities would be the ideal platform for future growth.”

Founded in France in 1954, Neovia manufactures and sells a wide range of nutrition solutions for the feed industry, operating in business lines including premix and value-added services, additives and ingredients, aquaculture and complete feed. Through acquisition, the current portfolio includes Epicore and BernAqua hatchery feeds and specialty feed firm, Pancosma. The company, which is currently majority owned by leading French agricultural cooperative group InVivo, has about 8,200 employees. It has extensive innovation capabilities, with 11 R&D centers in six countries. It had global sales of €1.7bn in 2017, and, with very limited presence in the United States and more than 75 percent of its sales coming from outside Western Europe, the company’s footprint complements ADM’s.

“This transaction is a great opportunity for both Neovia and ADM to establish what will be a global leader in animal nutrition solutions," stated Thierry Blandinières, CEO of InVivo. "ADM will pursue partnerships with French cooperatives and reinforce its relationships with the French agricultural world. At the same time and in line with our strategy ‘2025 by InVivo’, the sale of Neovia will enable us to accelerate our transformation by favoring investments in our growth levers: agriculture, agribusiness & wine, and retail & digital, in France and abroad."

Over the last four years, ADM has undertaken an extensive portfolio transformation. In its Animal Nutrition business, ADM has added premix and aquaculture capabilities in Asia; built new, modern facilities in North America; and moved into pet treats in 2017. Earlier this year, ADM combined its human and animal nutrition businesses into a single business unit that offers complete nutrition solutions.

Under French law, the signing of an acquisition agreement is contingent upon informing and consulting with relevant employee representative bodies. Subject to that process and regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to close by the fourth quarter.

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