Cargill Buys Norwegian Salmon Feed Company for $1.5 Billion

MINNEAPOLIS (Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) -

Cargill has 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.

Cargill, based in suburban Minneapolis and one of the world’s largest privately held companies, will buy EWOS, which is owned by Altor Fund III and Bain Capital Europe.

The deal marks Cargill’s entry into the salmon feed business in a big way, as EWOS is a salmon market leader.

“This transaction, which is significant and 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,” David MacLennan, Cargill’s CEO said in a statement.

Cargill has made only one bigger deal in its history: the 2011 purchase of Provimi, an animal feed company in the Netherlands, for $2.2 billion.

Cargill has fish feed facilities in the U.S., Mexico, China, southeast Asia and India.

With the EWOS deal, Cargill picks up three manufacturing facilities in Norway, and one each in Chile, Canada, Scotland and Vietnam, as well as two state-of-the-art R&D centers in Norway and Chile.

EWOS has 1,000 employees. The deal, pending regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of 2015.