Greek firm Andromeda Group sold to American fund; Selonda, Nireus next?

Published on
May 26, 2016

Greek aquaculture specialist Andromeda Group has been sold by the South Eastern Europe Fund to Amerra Capital Management, an American agribusiness asset management firm, and Athens' daily newspaper is reporting that two other major players in Greek aquaculture may also be sold.

Following the sale of Andromeda, Selonda and Nireus may also be following the same path, reported Ekathimerini.com. Selonda, with 32,000 metric tons of annual production of sea bream and sea bass, is based in Athens and has 46 sea-cage fish farms, five hatcheries, a processing plant and a distribution center in southern Greece. Nireus, based in Koropi, Greece, produces sea bream, sea bass meagre and red porgy and had EUR 185 million (USD 206 million) in sales in 2015.

Andromeda produces sea bass, sea bream and meager at farms in Greece and Spain, and describes itself as “the only sea bass and sea bream company with production in both the eastern and western Mediterranean region.” It also has a fry operation and performs value-added processing. Its products are sold in across Europe, the United States and the Middle East.

Andromeda was acquired in 1998 by the South Eastern Europe Fund, a subsidiary of Global Finance, a private equity firm based in Athens managing more than EUR 850 million (USD 948 million) in capital. The firm said it was able to grow Andromeda’s value from EUR 30 million (USD 33.5 million) to EUR 100 million (USD 111.5 million) during the span of its 10-year ownership.

“With the support of Global Finance we managed not only to stay independent but also to grow into a leading Mediterranean aquaculture company, Andromeda CEO Dimitris Valachis said. “We are excited to partner with AMERRA given their deep knowledge of the aquaculture industry as Andromeda, with Amerra’s help, will pursue a new phase of growth.”

On 23 May, Global Finance agreed to sell 90 percent of its holding in Andromeda to Amerra Capital Management, a New York-based fund with USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.35 billion) in assets.

According to a press release, “AMERRA deploys capital supporting growth-oriented agribusinesses around the world which are often family controlled. AMERRA seeks to add value as a supportive and active partner with a full spectrum of customized equity and debt capital products.”

“Our investment in Andromeda was driven by the quality of the company and the skills and integrity of the management team,” AMERRA partner Thor Talseth said. “We look forward to support the company in securing future profitable organic and strategic growth.”

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