2012/11/23 - Financial public releases

Virbac becomes a leader of the Aquaculture Health Market

VIRBAC announces the signing on November 23d, 2012 of an agreement by which the Group is acquiring a majority stake in CENTROVET, the leader of the animal health market in Chile. This transaction will allow VIRBAC to become a key player in a fast-growing segment of the veterinary market: products used for protection and treatment in aquaculture breeding. 
According to this agreement, VIRBAC has purchased 51% of the shares of the CENTROVET Group from its shareholders and will have the option to acquire the remaining capital stock at the end of a five year period. The transaction is effective as of the date of signing.
Founded in 1979, CENTROVET has become a major player in aquaculture health, building unique know-how and expertise in the development and manufacturing of innovative products for cold water aquaculture, in particular in the field of salmon and trout vaccines, where Chile is currently a major producer in the world. In addition to injectable vaccines, the company has developed and introduced to the aquaculture market proprietary oral delivery technologies for vaccines, in which it is currently the only player in the market. CENTROVET markets a wide range of specialty products and vaccines in Chile, and is investing in a Research and Development program which includes a pipeline of high potential projects. CENTROVET is also present in the other segments of the Chilean animal health market, food producing animals and companion animals, where its local product offering will benefit from the addition of some Virbac ranges.
In addition to the growth potential of the Chilean market itself, the worldwide VIRBAC commercial network will be a significant opportunity for international growth of CENTROVET’s products, in particular vaccines for the aquaculture industry worldwide. 
CENTROVET is based in Santiago and employs around 300 people. Its industrial facilities manufacture a broad range of injectable and oral vaccines, pharmaceutical specialty products and nutritional additives. From a financial standpoint, CENTROVET is experiencing rapid growth and generates an excellent profitability, driven by the increasing penetration of its vaccines range and the growth of salmon production in Chile. Revenues totalled 58 million USD in 2011 and over 42 million USD in the first-half 2012. 
For VIRBAC this sizeable transaction is a major strategic opportunity to become a leading player in a market which should continue growing its share in the production of proteins dedicated for human consumption, and to capitalize on the transactions already concluded in Asia in the recent years in this field (Biosolution, SBC).
It is expected that this acquisition will have a positive impact on VIRBAC’s operating and net earnings as soon as in 2013.