Provimi S.A.

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Provimi S.A.

9-11 Avenue Arago
Trappes, France
Telephone: (33) 01 34 82 79 01
Fax: (33) 01 34 82 79 10
Web site: http://www.provimi.com

Public Company
Founded:
1927
Employees: 8,905
Sales: EUR 1.59 billion ($1.95 billion) (2005)
Stock Exchanges: Euronext Paris
Ticker Symbol: VIM
NAIC: 311119 Other Animal Food Manufacturing

Provimi S.A. is one of the world's leading producers of animal feed, pet foods and animal nutrition products and is also the world's largest pure-play feed producer. Provimi, formed in 2001 through the breakup of Eridania Beghin Say, has its roots in the Netherlands, which remains the site of the holding company, but operates from its corporate headquarters in Trappes, France. The company is present in more than 30 countries, with over 100 manufacturing facilities.

Provimi produces a complete line of feed, including proteins, vitamins and minerals, for all livestock categories, and is also a major producer of fish feed, including specialized feed for eel, marine fish, turbot, halibut, cod and tilapia, as well as for trout and salmon. Since its relaunch as an independent, public company, Provimi has also stepped up its production of domestic pet food products, and especially for dogs and cats. Europe remains Provimi's core market, accounting for 75 percent of the group's total sales, which topped EUR 1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2005. The company is present in the North American market largely through subsidiary North American Nutrition Companies (NANCO). The group's North American sales accounted for 11 percent of total group revenues in 2005. The company is also building a growing presence in the Asian region, notably through its control of Peter Hand in China. Provimi is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. Wim Troost is group chairman.

SALT PRODUCER IN 1927

Provimi stemmed from a business set up in the Netherlands by the Bonda family in 1927. Bonda originally sold salt to feed producers but quickly recognized an opportunity to expand into the production of nutritional feed supplements, developing a concentrated mix of proteins, vitamins and minerals to improve feed quality. By the 1930s, the company had begun marketing its concentrate as Provimi (from PRO-teins, VItamins, MInerals), based on the main ingredients in its feed concentrate. The product helped establish the Bonda family at the forefront of animal nutrition in the Netherlands, and later throughout Europe, under the name Industriele B Bonda-Rotterdam N.V (Bonda International Corporation).

Over the next decades, Bonda diversified into the production of feed as well as feed supplements and expanded its sales and production network to include most of Western Europe. Through the end of the 1960s, the company, which remained under family ownership, also diversified beyond its core feed operations, adopting something of a conglomerate status. By the early 1970s, Bonda's sales topped $100 million, backed by an extensive sales network spanning more than 25 countries, with feed plants operating in seven countries in Europe, as well as in Canada.

Bonda's strong European position brought it to the attention of Central Soya Company, based in the United States. Like Bonda, Central Soya had started out as a producer of feed supplements, then grew into one of the United States' leading feed producers, before diversifying to become a major agro-industrial foods group. By the early 1970s, Central Soya had launched an effort to expand into the international market, which led it to acquire Bonda in 1971. Central Soya then began marketing its products in Europe under the Provimi name, at first in Europe, then on an international level. Under Central Soya, also, Provimias the unit came to be calledstreamlined its own operations to focus exclusively on its feed and feed supplements business.

The later Provimi operation grew during the 1980s, as Central Soya moved to boost both its domestic and international feed production operations through a series of acquisitions. In 1980, for example. Central Soya added new feed operations in Portugal, which were followed by two factories in Belgium operated by Aliments Protector.

Into the late 1980s, however, Provimi found itself under new ownership. In 1985, full control of Central Soya was acquired by Shamrock Capital, a holding company owned by the Roy Disney family, which had already held a majority stake in Central Soya. Under Shamrock, Central Soya underwent a significant streamlining, becoming refocused around a narrower field of activities. At the end of that restructuring in 1987, Shamrock sold Central Soya to Ferruzzi Agricola Finanziario, part of Italy's fast-growing Ferruzzi agro-industrial group, which also controlled the leading Italian sugar producer, Eridania, as well as the leading French sugar group Béghin Say. The Ferruzzi group had begun transforming the merged Eridania Béghin Say into a diversified agro-industrial group in its own right. Ferruzi in turn was controlled by the Italian conglomerate Montedison.

Placed under Eridania-Béghin-Say (the merger entity was formalized in 1992), Central Soya's feed production operation began to target new expansion. The newly opening Eastern Europe markets provided a strong opportunity for growth. The company acquired its first subsidiary in Poland in 1989, followed by an entry into Hungary in 1990, through a feed production joint venture with Central Soya called Agrokomplex. The company then extended into a number of other Eastern European markets, including Bulgaria and Russia.

The first half of the 1990s represented a period of extended growth for Provimi as it expanded throughout much of central and Eastern Europe, while also strengthening its western European base. By the middle of the decade, the company had completed a series of acquisitions, adding operations in Italy, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, and Switzerland, as well as in Poland. In this way, Provimi emerged as the European leader in the feed market.

INTERNATIONAL PURE-PLAY LEADER IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Acquisitions formed a major part of Provimi's growth through the second half of the 1990s and into the 2000s. The company's purchases were carried out in large part in support of a two-pronged strategy of, on the one hand, diversifying into other feed areas, including fish feed and pet foods, and on the other hand, of developing a truly international operation beyond Europe.

The company's geographic expansion led it to acquire positions in new markets including Argentina, Brazil, the United States, India and South Africa through the end of the 1990s. At the same time, the company completed a series of smaller bolt-on acquisitions, reinforcing its leading position in Europe.

Meanwhile, Provimi launched a string of acquisitions in such markets as Denmark, Chile, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic in an effort to gain a rapid and major position in the international fish feed market.

COMPANY PERSPECTIVES

Our Vision is to play a major role in feeding a growing and increasingly affluent global population with high quality, safe nutrition products, using our international resources of research and development that have been built up over decades of industry experience In addition, we will extend our technical expertise in animal nutrition to provide safe and tasty pet food to companion animals all over the world.

As it turned toward the new century, Provimi intensified its acquisition drive. Between 1999 and 2005, the company carried out well over 30 acquisitions. These included 51 percent of Chilean fish feed group Alitec and Spanish pet food producer Nutral in 1999. The following year, the company added fish feed united in Spain and Denmark, as well as a premix and specialty feed producer in Spain, and a full-range feed unit in Poland. Into 2001, the company acquired Australian premix producer Agribusiness, as well as Poland's Rolimpex, France's Sofrada, Brazil's Nutron and the United Kingdom's Nutrec. That year also marked the company's entry into the Asian market, with the purchase of a 51 percent stake in China's Guangxi Peter Hand, which also operated two production units in Vietnam.

While continuing its buying spree, Provimi found itself once again under a change of ownership. The Montedison group, and especially its Eridania-Béghin-Say unit, had fallen into deep financial difficulties during the 1990s. The agro-industrial operation in particular was hard hit by a series of crises, in Southeast Asia, as well as in Russia and Brazil, which had left it hemorrhaging badly. In 2001, Montedison's shareholders agreed to break up Eridania-Béghin-Say into its four primary operating areas. As part of that breakup, Provimi took over the group's feed business, becoming the world's leading pure-play feed and animal nutrition group. Provimi, operated under a Netherlands-based holding company, was registered in France, with its headquarters in Trappes, and a listing on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. In 2002, Montedison, which by then had begun to refocus itself around its core energy business, agreed to sell its 53.7 percent of Provimi to an investment partnership between CVC Capital Partners and PAI Management.

Throughout the change in corporate status, Provimi maintained its fast-paced growth. By 2002, the company had launched a new round of acquisitions, starting with Hercules in Russia, Sanogold in Germany, Danafeed in Denmark, Comptoir de Gives in Belgium, and Sunglo Feeds in the United States. In that year, also, the company acquired the remaining share of Alitec in Chile. The company also boosted its pet foods operations into the mid-2000s. For this market, the company targeted especially the fast-growing private label segment, avoiding head-to-head competition with the major branded products leader. As part of its pet foods extension, Provimi purchased the Netherlands' Rocofa in 2003, as well as Viand, based in Bulgaria, and Agvet, an animal health specialist in India. By the end of 2005, Provimi had added pet foods operations in Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia as well. As it turned to the second half of the decade, Provimi had become the world's leading pure-play animal nutrition group, with significant global positions in the three major feed categories.

KEY DATES

1927:
The Bonda family begins supplying salt to feed producers.
1971:
Industriele B Bonda-Rotterdam N.V (Bonda International Corporation) is acquired by Central Soya Company of the United States and refocuses around core of feed products, becoming the parent company's European branch.
1980:
Two feed production units from Aliments Protector of Belgium are acquired.
1985:
Central Soya is acquired by Shamrock Capital, which begins streamlining.
1987:
Central Soya is acquired by Eridania-Béghin Say which launches an expansion of feed business.
1989:
Provimi enters Poland.
1990:
A joint-venture in Hungary with Central Soya is established as part of expansion throughout Central and Eastern European region.
1997:
Company launches new strategy to add operations in fish feed and pet food, as well as develop expanded international operations.
2001:
Eridania-Béghin-Say is split up into four companies, including Provimi, which is listed on Euronext Paris exchange.
2002:
Majority stake in Provimi acquired by CVC Capital Partners and PAI Partners through Provimlux Investments.

PRINCIPAL SUBSIDIARIES

Agrokomplex (Hungary); North American Nutrition Companies Inc. (NANCO) (United States); Alimental (Argentina); Alitec (Chile); Bonimex (Netherlands); Bonimex South America (Chile); Celtic (France); Centralys (France); Comptoir de Gives S.A. (Belgium); Dana Feed (Denmark); Dana Feed (Poland); Joosten Products (Netherlands); Mervo products (Netherlands); Mixrite (Ireland); Neolait (France); NuTec (France); NuTec (Ireland); NuTec (Provimi Ltd) (United Kingdom); NuTec South Africa; Nutral (Spain); Nutron (Brazil); Pet Hungaria; Peter Hand Chong Qing (China); Peter Hand Vietnam; ProAqua (Brazil); ProAqua (Spain); Protector (Switzerland); Provimi Australia; Provimi Azov (Russia); Provimi B.V. (Netherlands); Provimi Bejing; Provimi Belgium; Provimi Bulgaria; Provimi Canada; Provimi Gan Yu (China); Provimi Hellas (Greece); Provimi Italia; Provimi Jordan; Provimi Moscow Ltd (Russia); Provimi Pet Food CZ s.r.o. (Czech Republic); Provimi Portuguesa; Provimi Samara (Russia); Provimi Zootrofiki (Greece); Provimi-Rolimpex S.A. (Poland); RoCoFa B.V. (Netherlands); SanoGold (Germany); SCA Iberica (Spain); Sodial (France); Sofrada (France); Vet-care (India); Viand AD (Bulgaria); Vipromin 2000 (Romania); Zootech (France).

PRINCIPAL COMPETITORS

Cargill Inc.; Archer Daniels Midland Co.; Eli Lilly and Co.; ConAgra Foods Inc.; Uganda Grain Milling Company Ltd; Namib Mills Proprietary Ltd; Land O'Lakes Inc; Proagro C.A.; Edison S.p.A; CJ Corporation; Maple Leaf Foods Inc; Kerry Group plc; Nutreco Holding N.V.

FURTHER READING

Howie, Michael, "Eridania Shareholders Vote in Favor of Demerger," Feedstuffs, July 9, 2001, p. 7.

, "Provimi Cites US Operations Improvement," Feedstuffs, June 24, 2002, p. 6.

, "Sale of Provimi Finalized by Provimlux Investments," Feedstuffs, December 9, 2002, p. 7.

Mallet, Victor, "Edison Agrees to Sell Provimi Unit," Financial Times, August 12, 2002, p. 15.

"Provimi Acquires Belgian Comptoir de Gives Group," Europe Agri, January 25, 2002.

"Provimi Buys Nama in Slovakia," Feedstuffs, October 25, 2004, p. 27.

"Provimi Buys Two Animal Feed Producers in Russia," Europe Agri, September 27, 2002, p. 501.

"Provimi Cites Product Mix," Feedstuffs, January 9, 2006, p. 6.

"Provimi Expands in Asia, Europe," Feedstuffs, June 14, 2004, p. 7.

"Provimi Expands in Pet Food Industry," Feedstuffs, June 9, 2003, p. 7.

"Provimi Opens New Premix Plant in Brazil," Feedstuffs, March 28, 2005, p. 17.

"Provimi Strengthens Presence in Asia," Feedstuffs, December 10, 2001, p. 7.

"Russian Acquisition," Feedstuffs, November 21, 2005, p. 17.

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Provimi S.A.

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