UPDATE 1-China Fishery raises stakes in fishmeal takeover fight

Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:16am EDT

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OSLO, April 11 (Reuters) - China Fishery Group upped the stakes in a fight over Peruvian fishmeal company Copeinca on Thursday with a new takeover offer that matches one from rival Cermaq.

The Asian company's offer of 59.70 crowns per share is an increase of nearly six crowns on an earlier offer. Its rival Norway-based Cermaq said earlier this month it had signed deals to increase its stake in Copeinca to more than 50 percent.

Cermaq also launched an offer at 59.70 crowns per share for all remaining shares in Copeinca, Peru's second biggest fish exporter.

The current bids from the two companies value Copeinca at about 4.2 billion crowns ($732.43 million), according to Reuters calculations.

Cermaq said on Thursday it was confident of its offer and that it was weighing its options after the latest bid by China Fishery Group.

Both Cermaq and China Fishery Group want to ensure a steady supply of fishmeal, which is made from fish and the bones and offal from processed fish and is used to feed farmed fish as well as poultry, pigs and pets.

Copeinca also produces fish oil, which is used to feed farmed fish and as a health supplement.

Peru is the world's top exporter of fishmeal and each year brings in about $1.8 billion in export receipts to the Latin American country.

China Fishery said it now controls 32.3 percent of Copeinca's shares and that its offer was extended to May 10 from April 12.

Copeinca shares rose 1.2 percent to 63 crowns on the Oslo Bourse. The bids exclude a planned dividend of 3.56 crowns. Adjusted for this, the shares are at 59.44 crowns, slightly below the two bids. ($1 = 5.7344 Norwegian kroner) (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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