As the Dutch feed firm published its agenda today for the AGM in February where shareholders are set to discuss the recommended offer from SHV, a spokesperson for Nutreco told us the US trader had not yet put in a concrete offer for the business.
On December 11, Cargill revealed it was hoping to acquire the Amersfoort headquartered group in its entirety, having previously indicated it wanted to break-up the company in a joint bid with private equity player, Permira.
And, speaking to this publication last week, ABN AMRO equity analyst, Maarten Bakker, reckoned a proposition from Cargill was imminent, even though, he noted, any counter bid now must come in at least 8% higher than the €44.50 ($54) per share offer from SHV, a stipulation the Dutch investment firm secured when finalizing its offer in early December.
No monopoly issues regarding SHV bid
Meanwhile, the EU Commission, under EU merger regulation, has published its findings that an acquisition of Nutreco by SHV would raise no competition concerns.
Such a conclusion was widely expected as there are no synergies between the businesses.
“The activities of SHV and Nutreco do not overlap,” concluded the regulator. SHV operates worldwide in energy distribution, cash-and-carry wholesale, heavy lifting and transport activities, mechanical engineering and industrial services, oil and gas, and private equity.
However, if Cargill wants to take on both the premix and fish feed businesses of Nutreco there could be challenges in relation to competition violations on the premix side. “It may have to sell off some assets in certain European markets to appease competition authorities,” said Bakker.
Nutreco takes on ForFarmers UK export activities
In other developments, ForFarmers has struck a deal with its Dutch feed competitor whereby Nutreco will take on its international young animal feed export business, from the UK to a number of European countries, from January next.
“This transfer has no impact on the ForFarmers young animal feed business in the four key countries of operation - the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Belgium.
These changes do affect a number of BOCM PAULS international staff and wherever possible they are being placed in alternative roles within the ForFarmers organization,” said the Lochem headquartered company.
ForFarmers said BOCM PAULS international brands will be licensed to Nutreco for a period of time, noting that the export business being transferred has a sales turnover of €8.5 million.
Yoram Knoop, CEO of ForFarmers, commented on the move:
“Following the recent announcement regarding the renewal of the existing strategic partnership between ForFarmers and Nutreco, we have been reviewing the combined strengths of each business and have concluded that our international markets for young animal feed are best served in the longer term by utilizing the strengths of Nutreco.
Our distributors and customers should see very little change as a result of the transfer, other than, in time, production is likely to be transferred to specialist production plants in Europe where the local needs for each country may be better served.
Nutreco is committed to the development and innovation of young animal feed and is investing significantly in resources to support this activity."