Benchmark in talks to end JV in salmon breeding facility

Veterinary services provider Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) have announced that they are holding discussions with partner AquaChile to dissolve the joint venture the two companies started in June 2018, and potentially assume full control of their currently joint operations.

Changes and Benchmark plans

The news follows a development in January, where Agrosuper completed its acquisition of AquaChile for $850 million, which opened the door for Benchmark to take control of the salmon breeding operation currently run by the joint venture. This would allow the Company to push toward an independent strategy.

Benchmark have stated that the discussions to-date envisage a return of its intellectual property rights, its original investment in the joint venture, genetic stock and biomass, and the resources necessary to operate the 50m egg facility.

In a statement, Company Chief Executive Malcolm Pye said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to fully own the world class salmon breeding facility currently owned by the JV and to reinvest the funds to move towards full scale production and commercialisation”.

“Whilst this marks a change to Benchmark’s approach to the market, it is a positive step towards fulfilling our key objective of accelerating our establishment of a strong local presence in this important market, in line with our strategy.”

Investment considerations

The firm’s shares dipped 0.84% or 0.35p in morning trading, down to 40.66p per share 29/05/19 10:55 GMT. Numis analysts have ‘Reiterated’ their ‘Buy’ stance stance on Benchmark stock.

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Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.