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EWOS Affliate to Acquire Chile's Nova Austral

08 September 2014

An EWOS affiliated company has signed an agreement with the bankruptcy trustee of Acuinova to acquire its subsidiary, the Chilean fish farming company Nova Austral. The purchase is subject to certain closing conditions including obtaining final financing for the purchase.

Following an acquisition, it is intended that Nova Austral over time settles its outstanding receivables of approximately $40 million to EWOS Chile. Furthermore, the new owners plan to return Nova Austral to normal operations, with EWOS Chile supplying fish feed to the company’s farming operations on commercial terms. EWOS intends to close the transaction with final financing structure within three weeks.

Untapped opportunity

EWOS views Nova Austral as an important customer and a company with lots of potential. The company has for the last several years struggled with liquidity difficulties as a result of the placement in bankruptcy of its parent companies, Acuinova S.A. and Pesca Chile S.A. By offering to purchase Nova Austral, EWOS is able to help one of its important customers return to operating at its full potential.

EWOS plans to work with the existing team to significantly improve the business, while adding management over time to replace the administrative and sales functions currently operated by its parent company, Acuinova.

“With its strong team, great assets and facilities, and excellent location in Region XII, we believe that Nova Austral has an untapped opportunity to grow production,” said Einar Wathne, Group CEO for EWOS.

Independently run

EWOS does not intend to grow its presence in the salmon farming industry beyond the purchase of Nova Austral. Nova Austral will continue to operate as an independent company, with EWOS supplying the company feed on commercial terms. The company will be majority owned by a Norwegian subsidiary of EWOS’s ultimate Norwegian parent company, Albain Holdco Norway AS.

Ownership structure

After the acquisition, Nova Austral’s main shareholder will be EWOS Invest AS, a subsidiary of EWOS’s ultimate Norwegian parent company, Albain Holdco Norway AS. As such, Nova Austral operations will not be consolidated into the reporting of either Albain Midco Norway AS or Albain Bidco Norway AS, the two companies with listed bonds on either the Oslo Stock Exchange or the Irish Stock Exchange. Statkorn Aqua AS, an indirect subsidiary of the above companies with listed bonds, will purchase a less than one per cent stake in Nova Austral S.A.

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