(Updates with details, quote)
By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM, May 20 (Reuters) - Meat processing equipment maker Marel said it will pursue a listing on Euronext in Amsterdam to enhance the Iceland-based company’s growth and acquisition strategy as global demand for protein rises.
Marel, which is the largest publicly traded company in Iceland with a market capitalisation equivalent to around 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion), said on Monday it will issue new shares representing 15% of its total share base.
Global “population growth, urbanization and a rising middle class” would drive growth in the long-term, Marel chief executive Arni Oddur said, adding that it is targeting 12 percent annual sales growth through 2026.
Half of that growth is expected to come from acquisitions, Oddur said of Marel, adding that its advanced products enjoy competitive advantages due to the widespread existing use of its equipment across Europe, the United States and Asia.
Marel sells both equipment to process poultry, meat and fish as well as software that manages and streamlines the process.
As societies become more wealthy “the first thing they do when they participate in the global economy” is increase protein intake, Oddur told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Trading in its shares represents 36% of the total on the Nasdaq Iceland Stock Exchange, Marel said.
The company said its net revenue was 1.2 billion euros ($1.34 billion) in 2018, up 15.4% from 2017, and net profit reached 122.5 million euros, a rise of 26%.
Citi and JP Morgan are joint global coordinators of the offering, with ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank acting as joint bookrunners.
Arion Bank and Landsbankinn are acting as joint lead managers and Icelandic retail managers.
STJ Advisors was independent financial advisor to Marel for the dual listing. ($1 = 0.8965 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Alexander Smith)