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Global AgInvesting reports:

Phillipines-based Aboitiz Equity Ventures has acquired a 75 percent stake in Gold Coin Management Holdings, the largest privately owned agribusiness in Asia, from Golden Springs Group for $412.5 million. The deal was conducted through Aboitiz's wholly-owned agribusiness and food-focused subsidiary Pilmico International, and values Gold Coin at $550 million. After cash adjustments, the final cash consideration will land at $334 million, which will be funded through overseas banks.

Founded in 1953 in Singapore, Gold Coin is the largest animal feed producer in Asia with 21 production facilities across 11 countries. Its product line includes aquaculture feed, hatchery feed, livestock feed, premixes, compound feed, and concentrates, and with a combined annual milling capacity of 3.1 million tons, the company generated net revenues of $751 million last year with an EBITDA of $44 million.

"ASEAN's market size of 500 million will bring many opportunities to expand our customer base," Pilmico President and CEO Sabin M. Abioiz said. "This acquisition serves as a platform towards achieving Pilmico's strategy to grow our core feed milling business beyond ASEAN and now across Asia. This acquisition will add three million metric tons of volume, which quadruples our overall feeds production capacity."

This transaction marks the largest investment in the Asia-Pacific region for Pilmico to date. In 2014 the company made its first acquisition in the ASEAN market when it bought a 70 percent stake in Vietnam's Vinh Hoan Feeds, one of the largest aquafeed players in the country. Last year, it raised its stake in the venture to 85 percent, and also acquired a 70 percent stake in Eurofeed, another major animal feed producer.

The latest addition of Gold Coin will add another three million metric tons of capacity for Pilmico, effectively quadrupling its overall feed production capacity, and the deal is expected to create significant synergies for both companies in a market that is rapidly growing, according to Gold Coin General Manager Gerald Wilflingseder.

The global animal feed processing market is expected to reach of value of $21.61 billion this year, and is forecast to grow to a value of $26.62 billion by 2023, according to Markets and Markets. This growth is being driven by higher consumer nutritional and health awareness, higher integration of technology in the sector, and rising global demand. Geographically, this demand is dominated by the Asia-Pacific region, which led the world in feed processing in 2017, and will serve as a prime market for expansion.

The partnership will strengthen Gold Coin's growth profile and long-term value creation potential," said Golden Springs Chairman Peter Zuellig. "The growth of Asia Pacific's livestock feed industry continues to outpace global production, underpinned by solid macroeconomic fundamentals. Gold Coin, as one of the leading animal nutrition platforms in Asia Pacific, is well-poised to capitalize on rising protein consumption. GSG has decided to continue to retain a minority stake to ensure that we are able to participate in Gold Coin's strong growth potential as it executes on its expansion strategies together with Pilmico."

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