22 October 1999

Genus will buy ABS Global, if alls well

GENUS has agreed to buy US cattle breeding company ABS Global for $46.4m (£28m), provided this years accounts are satisfactory.

The acquisition, of which 10% includes long-term debt, will be funded by a share issue and through borrowing.

The issue of 5.7m Genus shares at 175p each has been conditionally taken up by several UK financial institutions, raising about £10m. The value is only about 25p short of the all time high, and marks a 65p climb in just 6 months.

It means the proportion of shares owned by farmers and staff will fall from 96% to 70-75%. But farmers should welcome the citys show of confidence, says Mr Wood, since it comes just a few months ahead of Genus planned move to full stock market listing (it is currently listed on OFEX, the junior market for small to medium firms). &#42