ROUSSAY, FRANCE – August 15, 2014 – Groupe Grimaud and Ningbo Tech-Bank are pleased to announce a strategic partnership in pig genetics. Under the partnership agreement, Ningbo Tech-Bank
– through its subsidiary Hanswine – and Groupe Grimaud both will subscribe a substantial capital increase in Choice Genetics SAS, making Hanswine a strategic shareholder in the global pig genetics company, of which Groupe Grimaud remains the majority shareholder.
The alliance with Ningbo Tech-Bank will accelerate international growth, more particularly in China through the establishment of a fully owned subsidiary. The investment creating Choice Genetics China will encompass an R&D center and a sales and marketing team. Ningbo Tech-Bank and Choice Genetics have been working together since August 2013, when it imported GGP breeding stock from the USA into the Anhui province (China) in order to populate a new 1,500 sow farm, which is the base for Ningbo Tech- Bank‟s multiplication program.
Additionally, the new partnership will facilitate Choice Genetics‟ American subsidiary Choice Genetics USA‟s ability to exit from its pending Chapter 11 reorganization case and emerge in a much stronger operating and financial position. Apart from the customary governmental and company approvals, the closing of the partnership is subject to the confirmation of Choice Genetics USA‟s pending plan of reorganization dated July 14, 2014, and which has the approval of all of its secured and unsecured creditors. The chapter 11 reorganization case was filed on February 13, 2014 because of an unexpected and unfavorable decision by an arbitration panel.
“I am very pleased and excited with the global pig genetics partnership between Groupe Grimaud and Ningbo Tech-Bank. We share the same vision that continued investment in technology and innovation will drive the animal genetics business. China is a huge market with big potential. The creation of Choice Genetics China fits perfectly with our strategy and completes our global organization nicely,” says Frédéric Grimaud, Chairman of Groupe Grimaud.
“The pig breeding in China has been described as an „import – degenerate – reimport‟ cycle. Ningbo Tech-Bank has been looking for a solution to change this kind of breeding practice. Ningbo Tech-Bank contacted pig breeding companies worldwide to seek a partner who could satisfy Chinese market requirements. Choice Genetics is the only company who combines two recent technologies, genomic selection and CT live animal testing, in a powerful R&D platform. We therefore believe that Choice Genetics is the most ideal partner for Ningbo Tech-Bank. We appreciate Groupe Grimaud‟s trust and we firmly believe this partnership will result in a multi-win collaboration,” says Banghui Zhang, CEO of Ningbo Tech-Bank.
“Throughout the cooperation with Ningbo Tech-Bank since 2013, we have been impressed with the professionalism and efficiency of the NTB team,” says Pieter Seghers, CEO of Choice Genetics. “The conclusion of this global partnership is a natural step after a very satisfying business relationship with the NTB team. The whole Choice Genetics team is looking forward to the exciting new projects, especially in the Chinese market, that it will be able to realize thanks to this new partnership.”
About Groupe Grimaud
Groupe Grimaud is a family owned group, headquartered in Roussay, France, and involved in animal genetic selection and biopharmacy. During the last decade, through acquisitions, alliances and organic growth, it has reached the second position in the world for multi-species animal genetic selection, with about 300 M€ in annual revenues in over 100 countries.
· Specialized subsidiaries:
o Animal genetics: HUBBARD specializes in broilers, NOVOGEN in layers, GRIMAUD FRERES SELECTION in waterfowls and pigeons, HYPHARM in rabbits, CHOICE GENETICS in swine, BLUE GENETICS in shrimps and GALOR in guinea fowl;
o Biopharmacy: VALNEVA and FILAVIE
· Local facilities in 15 countries and 4 continents.
About Ningbo Tech-Bank
Ningbo Tech-Bank is an agro-industrial group based in Ningbo, China and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in the PRC. The group is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of animal feed ingredients and health care products in China and internationally. In December 2013, Ningbo Tech-Bank purchased the outstanding capital stock of AgFeed Industries, Inc, the holding company of AgFeed‟s Chinese subsidiaries. AgFeed China is one of China‟s largest commercial hog producers, with a current capacity of 26,000 sows.