Benchmark bought a 49% share of AquaChile's Chaicas facilities. Photo: Benchmark

AquaChile raises profit gained from Benchmark deal

AquaChile has increased the estimate of the taxable profit it will make from its joint venture with UK-based fish health and genetics firm Benchmark Holdings from US$9 million to $12m.

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Benchmark and AquaChile, the world’s sixth-largest salmon producer, signed an agreement in June to form the £19m breeding and genetics joint venture.

The deal involved Benchmark acquiring a 49% stake in AquaChile’s Chaicas biosecure land-based breeding facilities for $16.25m (£12.2m).

AquaChile originally reported to Chile’s Commission for the Financial Market (CMF) that the deal would generate a taxable profit of $9m, but has since rectified the information, clarifying that the operation will ultimately generate a financial profit of approximately $12m. This will be reflected in the financial results for the second quarter of 2018.

Coho and trout

The joint venture, which will be named Benchmark Genetics Chile, will produce eggs in the Chaicas facilities, with back-up from Benchmark Genetic’s land-based breeding operations in Iceland and genetic technology from Benchmark’s Akvaforsk Genetics in Norway.

Benchmark Genetics Chile is expected to supply AquaChile’s entire Atlantic salmon egg requirement and other customers. The company will also market coho salmon and rainbow trout eggs adapted for Chilean conditions.

Benchmark anticipates the joint venture will provide it with an immediate EBITDA contribution of £1.81m in the four months to 30 September 2018, £2.4m for the first full year to 30 September 2019, and £4.1m per annum at full capacity.