Cermaq ASA (CEQ), the Norwegian fish-food maker that’s a takeover target for Marine Harvest ASA (MHG), received a 6.2 billion-krone ($1.1 billion) offer for its Ewos unit from Altor Equity Partners and Bain Capital LLC.
The bid implies an enterprise value that is 10 times the “market consensus” earnings before interest and taxes for the fish-feed and nutrition unit in 2013, the Oslo-based company said today in a statement.
The price “is considered sufficiently interesting for Cermaq to initiate a process with the aim to conclude a final agreement,” Cermaq said.
Cermaq, which is 43.5 percent owned by the government, earlier this month rejected the offer from Marine Harvest, and said it would hold talks with investors on the sale of assets. Marine Harvest on May 31 offered 107 kroner a share in stocks and cash for the company.
The Bain and Altor offer is subject to a completion of debt financing, for which the private equity investors has written confirmation of interest from Nordic and international banks, the company said. The sale will free up funds to reduce debt and to pay an extraordinary dividend of 4 billion kroner to 5 billion kroner, or 43 kroner to 54 kroner a share, Cermaq said.
The board said it will hold an extraordinary meeting to decide on the transaction, which will need backing of at least 50 percent of the shareholders.
“A sale of Ewos at the above mentioned terms will be an important step to realize the values in Cermaq for the shareholders,” the company said. “After a potential completion of a definitive agreement to sell Ewos, the board will continue its efforts to further develop the company’s significant farming activities in Norway, Canada and Chile.”
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