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Polaris Private Equity acquires majority of Hamlet Protein

Monday, June 11, 2007

Polaris Private Equity acquires majority of Hamlet Protein

Hamlet Protein will strengthen its position as a leading global supplier of soya protein for special-purpose animal feed and with Polaris as a majority shareholder Hamlet Protein plans to double revenue and earnings over the coming five-year period, primarily through increased sales in Europe and the USA.

Managing Director Ole Kaae Hansen (right) and Sales Director Stephen Paul Rose (left), Hamlet Protein A/S.

Hamlet Protein specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing soya-based proteins for weaning feed. The unique production process gives Hamlet Protein products an attractive taste and high nutritional value that makes them suitable for weaning feed for piglets and calf milk replacers.
In the longer term, the company expects to exploit sales in aquafeed and petfood. Hamlet Protein has recorded non-stop growth since starting up production in 1993. Having generated average revenue growth of 10 percent per year over the last six years, the company reported profit after tax of DKK 19 million (about EUR 2.5 million) on revenue of DKK 210 million (about EUR 28 million) in 2006. A 15 percent revenue increase is projected for 2007.

Staying on as minority shareholders The two existing shareholders, Managing Director Ole Kaae Hansen and Sales Director Stephen Paul Rose, who have both been with the company from the outset, will remain with the company as minority shareholders. Polaris becoming a shareholder is the first step of a succession process. “Hamlet Protein still offers a lot of organic development potential in the company’s niche for top-quality proteins on the global market. At the same time, the company is currently developing new product types that will enable it to further expand its customer base by customising products to meet specific customer needs,” said Niels Worning, Polaris partner.

Hamlet Protein is a proven alternative to traditional sources of protein, such as fishmeal, skimmed milk powder and blood plasma, now in short supply and at high price levels. Thus, in order to meet the growing demand, the company is currently expanding its plant in Horsens, Denmark, for the fifth time in 13 years. This expansion project will increase factory output capacity by 20,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes of finished goods per year. 1

Ambitious strategy
Hamlet products are being marketed in more than 50 countries on five different continents. In all countries with the exception of Denmark and USA, sales are mediated through exclusive distributors.

 “With Polaris as our majority shareholder, we will have the financial strength and support to implement our ambitious strategy, including pursuit of emerging market opportunities.” explained Ole Kaae Hansen.

New chairman of the board
Hamlet Protein intends to strengthen its board of directors by appointing new members, including an experienced chairman. The new chairman will be Ole Andersen, an experienced executive with a background within the global processing industry.

"We expect further consolidation within our industry. Hamlet is determined to be active in this process, i.e. by considering strategic alliances with key players, in due course possibly also within food”, said Ole Andersen.

Also joining the board will be Hans Henrik Hjorth, a former CEO with Copenhagen Pectin and the Danisco Group who has many years of experience from the market and from the production of ingredients for the food industry.

Another new member will be Niels Worning of Polaris while Managing Director Ole Kaae Hansen and Tom Hertel, a former executive of SAS Catering, will continue on the board.

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