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Benchmark Expands Aquaculture Genetics Through Tilapia Breeding Acquisition

27 July 2015

GLOBAL - Benchmark Holdings PLC has today strengthened its position in aquaculture genetics through the acquisition of Norwegian-based aquaculture genetics and research company Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS (AFGC) and American based Spring Genetics for a combined total of NOK 140m (£11 million).

Expanding on Benchmark’s position as the second largest global player in salmon breeding and genetics, the acquisitions represent a strategic move into aquaculture genetics across a wider number of the major farmed species, and into breeding in the fast growing tilapia sector.

AFGC has a world-class aquaculture genetics team and is a leading provider of technical genetic services across many aquaculture species in Norway, Canada, Thailand, China and the USA.

Spring Genetics, which is based in Miami and Mazatlan, Mexico, has built a strong brand in a rapidly growing market as one of only a handful of independent tilapia breeding companies, its tilapia strain is marketed under the brand Spring Tilapia®

This is a major step towards building the platform from which Benchmark will provide sustainable food chain solutions which integrate the key components of animal health; genetics, animal husbandry, health products and nutrition.

Benchmark Chief Executive, Malcolm Pye, commented: "This deal is an opportunity for Benchmark to further advance its position in the aquaculture genetics and breeding sector. The acquisitions bolster our recognised status in the salmon genetics space, and moves Benchmark into the rapidly growing tilapia market."

"The acquisitions of AFGC and Spring Genetics give Benchmark access to new geographies and customers in emerging markets, diversify our offering and fulfil Benchmark's strategic objective of offering our expertise across a range of species within the aquaculture arena. The entrance of the Company into the tilapia market is particularly encouraging, as it is one of the fastest growing sources of protein in the Latin American region."

"This is a very exciting time for the company, with Benchmark's Breeding & Genetics division going from strength to strength over the past year. We are now positioned as one of the leading global players in the aquaculture genetics sector, and we look forward to further growing this division of the business”.



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