Feed manufacturer ForFarmers is to seek a stockmarket listing following approval from its shareholders. The move is intended to help its growth ambitions.
The Dutch co-operative, with interests in the UK, Belgium and Northern Germany, received 99.9% approval at its recent annual general meeting for its proposal to seek admission to the Euronext Amsterdam market. The member council of the majority shareholder, Coöperatie FromFarmers, which holds 61% of the ForFarmers equity, also unanimously supported the proposal. ForFarmers intends to achieve its Euronext Amsterdam listing in the second quarter of 2016.
The move is the culmination of a process that started in 2005 to meet ForFarmers' long term growth ambitions while preventing dilution of the members’ capital. First, the Cooperative and the company were split in 2007, with much of the Cooperative's capital transferred to members as certificates tradable via a trading platform. The Euronext Amsterdam listing will further facilitate the tradability of shares, and ForFarmers will convert to an N.V. (public company) in order to make this possible.
ForFarmers' shares will be accessible to a broader investor public, including institutional investors, but no new capital will be attracted with the public listing.
"This is a historic moment for ForFarmers,” notes chief executive Yoram Knoop. “We are delighted that such a solid mandate was granted for listing on Euronext Amsterdam. This indicates that the members of Coöperatie FromFarmers, as well as the other shareholders, are confident in the ambition that ForFarmers has for expanding further into the leading animal feed company in Europe.
“We view a public stock exchange listing as a logical step in the development of ForFarmers. We want to support farmers in achieving their business objectives with innovative and sustainable Total Feed solutions. Serving our customers, the farmers, in the proper manner with the feed solutions most cost-effective for them, is our core business and remains so after a public listing."
"A new phase begins with a public stock exchange listing and we are making a next step in the further development of a vital cooperative, which is attractive for existing and new members,” adds Jan Eggink, chairman of Coöperatie FromFarmers. “In this, it is important that control and continuity of the Cooperative are secured. The focus remains on the creation of long-term perspective and the further development of the Total Feed Business in the interest of our members and the ForFarmers customers. This public listing offers the ForFarmers enterprise as well as the Cooperative an excellent basis for a good future."