In a release to Oslo Stock Exchange, the board of Benchmark Holdings plc announced it has decided to undertake a formal review of the company's strategic options including, but not limited to, a sale of the company as a whole or alternatively the potential sale of one or more individual business units.
Management actions over the past three years have delivered substantial revenue growth and improvement in profitability and cash conversion. For the full year, which ended on September 30, 2023, Benchmark delivered 7% revenue growth, a 15% increase in adjusted EBITDA and improved its operational cash conversion from 35% to 58%, showing continued progress in the year despite challenging conditions in the shrimp sector, one of the Company's core markets.
So why did the group make this decision? The board believes that the current share price materially undervalues the combined value of Benchmark's businesses and the long-term prospects of the company, which may at least in part be due to the tightly held and illiquid nature of its ordinary shares.
In this context, the company has agreed with the UK Takeover Panel that any discussions in relation to an offer for the company may take place within the context of a formal sale process to enable conversations with parties interested in making such a proposal to take place on a confidential basis.
The company is not currently in any discussions with any potential offeror relating to an acquisition of the issued and to-be-issued share capital of the company. 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.