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The leading software provider to the seafood industry


AKVA group ASA signed a binding Letter of Intent with TM Software hf of Iceland at 13:15, on 21 December 2006 to acquire all shares in TM Software AS.

TM Software AS (formerly Maritech International AS), including its subsidiaries in Norway, Chile, UK and USA, and the assets of the seafood related businesses of Maritech hf in Iceland and Maritech Software Inc. in Canada (collectively the "Companies").

This group of Companies is generally known as Maritech. Through this acquisition TM Software hf will transfer all its software and hardware business related to seafood to AKVA group ASA. The acquisition is currently planned to be completed in February 2007 after the satisfactory completion of due diligence, the finalization of the necessary purchase agreements and the fulfilment of all other conditions to closing.

The purchase price for the entire enterprise value of the Companies is NOK 80 million which includes both the assumption of interest bearing debt and the payment for the value of the equity. The purchase price shall be settled with a cash payment for the equity value on the closing date of the acquisition. The acquisition will be partly financed by a new loan facility.
The seafood business of Maritech which AKVA group intends to acquire has an estimated consolidated annual revenue in 2006 of approximately NOK 130 million.

The main software products of Maritech are WiseFish and WiseFarming, which are IT solutions for the seafood industry with the main focus on the harvesting, value-added processing, sales and distribution parts of the value chain. Most of the large seafood companies in the world use one or more of the software solutions provided by Maritech.  Furthermore, Maritech is the exclusive distributor in Norway for Marel hf of Iceland for its fish processing solutions for the seafood industry.

The ongoing consolidation in the seafood industry creates a significant market potential for integrated solutions through the entire value chain. AKVA group sees this acquisition as a major step forward in solving its customers need for improved software information systems.
   
By this acquisition AKVA group will:
  • Become the leading provider of operational IT solutions for the seafood industry;
  • Merge the two leading software solutions:  AKVA group's FishTalk from the upstream part and Maritech's Wisefish from the downstream part of the value chain; and
  • Take the position as the only provider of "integrated operational software solutions" to the seafood industry. 
Furthermore this acquisition provides AKVA group with:
  • Complementary products and organizational competences;
  • Geographical strengthening of the organisation; and
  • A match with the group's strategy to enter new markets AKVA group estimates that this acquisition will have an accretive effect for earnings per share based on the future expected earnings and cost synergies.  The main restructuring costs will be borne by the seller.
The Letter of Intent binds both parties to enter into a final agreement and consummate the acquisition, unless the agreements are terminated according to provisions therein. Both parties have the right to terminate the Letter of Intent based on due diligence findings which are believed to have a qualified adverse effect on the enterprise value or the equity of the Companies, as described in the letter of intent. AKVA group has the right to terminate the Letter of Intent if a material adverse nature to the Companies or their business is discovered during the due diligence review, unless remedied within 14 days. The parties shall finalize the transaction structure based on the due diligence review of the Companies in January 2007.
Dated: 21 December 2006

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