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Cargill buys Norwegian salmon-feed company for $1.5b

Cargill buys Norwegian salmon-feed company for $1.5b

OSLO: The agribusiness giant agreed to buy a major Norway-based salmon feed maker for $1.5 billion, its second-biggest acquisition by value and one that bolsters its position in the fast-growing global fish feed business.

Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, will buy EWOS from two private equity operations, Altor Fund III and Bain Capital Europe.

The deal announced Monday marks Cargill’s entry into salmon feed in a big way: EWOS, based in the Norwegian salmon stronghold of Bergen, is one of the leading global suppliers. Currently, Cargill’s aquaculture feed focus is on shrimp and tilapia, warm-water creatures as opposed to cold-water-dwelling salmon.

This transaction, which is significant and the second aquaculture acquisition Cargill has announced in as many months, is a strategic investment in our long-term growth and evidence of our commitment to the growing aquaculture industry,” Cargill CEO David MacLennan said in a statement.

Only one deal has been bigger in Cargill’s history: the 2011 purchase of Provimi, an animal feed company in the Netherlands, for $2.2 billion. In July, Cargill announced a joint venture with Naturista to build a $30 million shrimp feed facility in Ecuador.