Diorasis spends big to fend off Cooke in purchase of Selonda farms
Diorasis International SA, a Greek private investment firm and the owner of Aquaculture G&P Bitsakos, spent more than EUR 50 million (USD 55.4 million) to acquire the sea bass and sea bream farming assets being shed by Selonda and Nireus as part of their merger with The Andromeda Group, according to Greek news site Ypaithros.
The purchase, made last week, included 10,000 metric tons of sea bass and sea bream, as well as hatcheries that produce 50 million fry annually,which Nireus and Selonda were required to sell to earn the European Commission’s approval of their merger with The Andromeda Group.
The deal also includes an agreement that Nireus and Selonda sell fish feed to Diorasis International-owned Bitsakos Aquaculture for two years after the transaction is completed, and provide consulting on their aquaculture methods for six months.
The European Commission must still approve the deal, but Ypaithros reports that approval is expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.
The price paid by Diorasis International SA defeated a bid by the Canadian seafood firm Cooke Inc. to purchase the farming assets, according to Ypaithros. Cooke had “expressed interest in acquiring them” through its Spanish subsidiary, Culmarex, the news site reported.
If approved, the new merged company, composed of the assets of Andromeda, Nireus, and Selonda, would have an estimated 70,000 metric tons of production, the equivalent of 37 percent of all production of sea bass and sea bream in the European Union.
Diorasis International will become the second-largest sea bass and sea bream farmer in Greece, with a production capacity of 15,000 metric tons, accounting for its joint venture agreement with Kefalonia Fish Farms.