China Fishery Matches Cermaq Offer for Peru Fish-Feed Maker

China Fishery Group increased its offer for Copeinca ASA, a producer of fishmeal and oil from Peruvian anchovies, matching a rival bid from Norwegian fish-food maker Cermaq ASA.

China Fishery, a unit of Pacific Andes Resources Development Ltd., raised its offer for Lima-based Copeinca to 59.70 kroner ($10.40) a share from 53.85 kroner, it said in a statement today. That matches Cermaq’s offer made on April 5.

The two companies are seeking to buy Copeinca to expand into the South American nation, the world’s largest exporter of salmon feed ingredients by volume as the global aquaculture industry grows and livestock production increases.

The improved bid by China Fishery doesn’t alter Cermaq’s plans for Copeinca, Chief Financial Officer Tore Valderhaug said by mobile phone today. “We control more than 50 percent of the shares and that means no one else can have that same control.”

Cermaq, in which the Norwegian government owns a 43.5 percent stake, offered to buy Copeinca for 3.49 billion kroner, trumping a previous bid by China Fishery. Cermaq, whose offer is being recommended by the Copeinca board, is still working on its offer document and hasn’t set any conditions on how much of Copeinca it wants to own, Valderhaug said.

Copeinca Dividend

“We’ve put forward a voluntary offer for all the shares, so that’s the goal,” he said. “But since we chose to do things this way, we’re prepared for other situations and we can live with those too.”

China Fishery owns shares, or has the right to shares, equivalent to 32.3 percent of Copeinca, it said today.

Cermaq, which already has operations in Canada, Norway, Scotland, Chile and Vietnam, said the combined company will benefit from annual synergies of 250 million kroner to 270 million kroner and that the deal will add to earnings per share from this year.

China Fishery, based in Singapore, extended the acceptance period for its offer to May 10, it said. It will also seek renewed approval from its shareholders since the price offered for Copeinca may now exceed the $600 million it already has authorization for.

Shares in Copeinca gained 2 percent to 63.5 kroner as of 12:30 p.m. in Oslo. That’s in line with the 59.7 kroner offer price and 3.56 kroner dividend that Copeinca has declared. Cermaq fell 1.1 percent to 90 kroner.

(Updates with comment from Cermaq in fourth paragraph.)
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