Travers Smith LLP has advised Benchmark Holdings plc, the international biotechnology and food chain sustainability business, on its £19m fundraising and acquisition of a 49% interest in a Chilean salmon breeding and genetics joint venture with Empresas AquaChile S.A.
The proposed joint venture is expected to accelerate and de-risk Benchmark's strategy in Chile, the world's second largest salmon market, and is expected to deliver attractive returns and be immediately earnings accretive. The establishment of the Joint Venture is conditional upon, amongst other things, AquaChile receiving bank approval and the admission of the placing shares.
The proceeds from the placing will be used to fund the total cash consideration of $16.25m (£12.2m), a $5.4m (£4m) loan to the Joint Venture and transaction expenses, with the balance being used for general working capital purposes.
The Travers Smith team, who have advised Benchmark since its AIM IPO in December 2013, was led by Corporate Finance Partner Anthony Foster and Senior Associate Jamie Lumsden.
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP advised the nominated adviser and sole bookrunner, Numis Securities Limited.