Genus acquires Hermitage's genetic assets

Genus and Hermitage agree to enter into strategic partnership covering supply of porcine genetics in several markets.

Genus, a leading global animal genetics company, and Hermitage, an established pig breeding company in Europe, have signed an agreement to enter into a strategic partnership covering the supply of porcine genetics in several markets.

PIC, the porcine division of Genus, will acquire the genetic rights and intellectual property of Hermitage. Hermitage will also become a strategic supply chain and distribution partner for PIC. In addition, PIC will acquire certain Hermitage customer relationships in various geographies, including Russia, the U.S. and several European countries. The transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, which are expected to be fulfilled by the end of March 2017.

The partnership combines the genetics expertise and quality of PIC with the supply chain network and operational excellence of Hermitage. This combination will strengthen PIC's ability to deliver genetic improvement in Europe and provide customers of both PIC and Hermitage with access to top-tier genetics and optimal technical and health services.

Hermitage was established in 1958 in Ireland and is one of the longest-established porcine breeding and genetics companies in Europe. Over the years, Hermitage has grown into a multinational porcine breeding company serving pig producers in Europe and other international markets with high-health breeding stock. Hermitage's infrastructure includes nucleus farms and boar studs in Ireland and across Europe, as well as multiplication partners in key international territories.

Genus chief executive Karim Bitar said of the transaction, “The partnership with Hermitage is an ideal fit with our porcine strategy. It will provide Genus with the opportunity to accelerate genetic improvement by combining the PIC and Hermitage gene pools. In addition, Hermitage's strong supply chain and customer service-oriented team will strengthen our ability to serve pig producers efficiently and reliably."

"This is an exciting step for Hermitage, as we join forces with a global pioneer in our field," Ned Nolan, owner of Hermitage, added. "Our partnership with PIC will allow the continued use of the Hermitage gene pool to provide enhanced genetics to our global customer base. Hermitage shares PIC's values of pioneering genetic improvement for customers, and we look forward to collaborating with PIC's team.”

Genus creates advances to animal breeding and genetic improvement by applying biotechnology and sells added value products for livestock farming and food producers. Its technology is applicable across all livestock species and is currently commercialized by Genus in the dairy, beef and pork food production sectors.

Genus's worldwide sales are made in 70 countries under the trademarks ABS (for dairy and beef cattle) and PIC (for pigs) and comprise semen and breeding animals with superior genetics to current production animals. The group's competitive edge has been created from the ownership and control of proprietary lines of breeding animals, the biotechnology used to improve them and its global supply chain, technical service and sales and distribution network.

With headquarters in Basingstoke, U.K., Genus companies operate in 30 countries on six continents, with research laboratories located in Madison, Wis.

Hermitage was established by the Nolan family. Pedigree Landrace and Large White lines were purchased internationally and developed and selected with the support of Irish Government Central Test Stations in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Over the last 30 years, Hermitage Genetics has expanded its Landrace, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain and Maxgro lines, becoming a pig breeding company dedicated to efficient and profitable pig production worldwide. Hermitage top class production facilities support customers across Europe, North America and Asia.

Hermitage has developed a science-based breeding program that drives genetic progress by focusing on traits of economic importance to the pig producer. Hermitage now tests more than 30,000 pigs per year for lean, efficient growth and collects data from more than 22,000 pure-bred sows at the genetic nucleus level. This data are analyzed by Hermitage's proprietary BreedDirect BLUP software program and offered by Hermitage to customers through an online data portal.

Hermitage Group was advised on the transaction by Investec Corporate Finance in Dublin, Ireland.

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