August 20, 2008


Orkla and Kverva to acquire Norway's aquaculture drugs company PHARMAQ


Investment companies Orkla and Kverva have entered into an agreement with 2/3 of the shareholders in PHARMAQ AS to acquire the company.


PHARMAQ is a leading pharmaceutical company supplying the aquaculture industry. PHARMAQ's management and the employees will still own up to 1/3 in the company. Orkla and Kverva will together with PHARMAQ's management and employees actively contribute to the further development of the company.


"Orkla and Kverva represent competent and long-term oriented investors and have combined vast industrial experience which PHARMAQ can make use of both in Norway and internationally, said Morten Nordstad, CEO of PHARMAQ.


PHARMAQ was founded in 2004 when the employees acquired the company from its previous owners. In 2007, the operating revenues were NOK 276.9 million (US$51.35 million ) and earnings before tax were NOK 64.2 million (US$11.9 million).


The number of staff employed within research and development has nearly doubled since 2004, and the company has introduced 9 new vaccines in the same period. Today PHARMAQ derives almost 2/3 of its revenue from export.


The transaction is expected to be completed within 2-3 months. The completion is among other things subject to approval from competition authorities in different countries.

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