News and Press Releases

Sino Agro Food Inc. Announces Important Milestones in Strategic Plan

Apr 24, 2015

GUANGZHOU, China, April 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sino Agro Food, Inc. (OTCQB: SIAF) -- In late September 2014, Sino Agro Food, Inc. and Euro China Capital AB ("ECAB") initiated a strategic plan designed to complement operational performance with corporate steps to unlock shareholder value. Progress in the form of a "broad strategic plan" was announced in late December 2014. The Company is now ready to provide the following update:

  • Long term vision: Sino Agro Food's long-term vision is to become a leading sustainable aquaculture company focused on organically farmed fish and prawns. In this process, other businesses will be divested, either through separate listings or M&A.
  • Listing of the Company's shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange: The Company has together with its newly appointed financial advisor Arctic Securities set an objective to list its common equity on the Oslo Stock Exchange as soon as practicable.
  • New Chief Financial Officer: Mr. Bertil Tiusanen has been appointed as group CFO. Mr. Tuisanen has previously been CFO at large Swedish corporations such as Vattenfall AB and Coop AB. Mr. Tiusanen is currently employed as advisor to the Norwegian Government and will start as full-time CFO of Sino Agro Food on May 1st 2015.
  • New Nordic Investor Relations: Box Communications has been engaged to handle the Company's Nordic IR activities. Mr. Tomas Oqvist, previously top-ranked Swedish equity analyst, will act as Nordic IR Manager with special responsibility for institutional investors.

Chairman and CEO Solomon Lee commented, "During the last few months, we have worked intensively together with Euro China Capital in order to execute on our strategic plan to convert operational performance into shareholder value. I am convinced that our newly formulated long-term vision to focus on sustainable aquaculture is right for the Company. With today's management appointments, I am confident that we have the right team in place to continue to execute on our plan, for the benefit of the Company, our employees and our shareholders. I am particularly happy about the recruitment of our new CFO Bertil Tiusanen, whom I am certain will add valuable expertise and experience to the Company when it comes to financing matters."

Sino Agro Food outlines its vision and defines a clear roadmap for the next 5 years
Sino Agro Food's vision is to become a leading aquaculture company focusing on organically farmed fish and prawns. In 2014 the Company's aquaculture operations[1] generated total revenues of USD 229 million and gross profit of nearly USD 70 million. The Company's aquaculture operations have substantial growth opportunities in the years ahead, not least through the Zhongshan Prawn Project where the production of organic prawns using the Company's proven proprietary recirculating aquaculture system technology will be scaled up considerably. The first two thousand metric tonnes of annual production capacity[2] was installed earlier this year and production will begin in the early summer.

In addition to its aquaculture operations, Sino Agro Food owns stakes in several other non-aquaculture businesses that are all active within the organic food value chain. Under Sino Agro Food's leadership, many of these operations have already been developed into highly profitable and substantially growing businesses.

  • Qinghai Integrated Cattle Farm Division (SJAP): SJAP generated revenues of USD 102 million and gross profit of USD 31 million in 2014. Sino Agro Food's equity ownership of SJAP is 45%.
  • Cattle Farm Development Division[3] (MEIJI): MEIJI generated revenues of USD 33 million and gross profit of USD 2 million in 2014. Sino Agro Food's equity ownership of MEIJI is 100%.
  • HU Plantation Division (JHST): JHST generated revenues of USD 11 million and gross profit of USD 8 million in 2014. Sino Agro Food's equity ownership of JHST is 75%.
  • Hunan Organic Fertilizer Division (HSA): HSA generated revenues of USD 20 million and gross profit of USD 9 million in 2014. Sino Agro Food's proportionate equity ownership of HSA amounts to 48.5%. 

In order to fulfill its vision of becoming a leading sustainable aquaculture company, while at the same time realizing the full potential in each of its non-aquaculture businesses, the Management and the Board of Directors have also defined a clear roadmap for each of its separate business divisions for the next five years. This includes actively pursuing value enhancing merger & acquisition (M&A) opportunities, separate public listings and/or straight trade sales of various business units. As previously announced, the company has already begun preparations regarding M&A opportunities and a potential separate public listing of SJAP.

Intention to list Sino Agro Food's shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange
After careful consideration, the Company has concluded that the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) is the most suitable exchange for Sino Agro Food's shares. The Oslo Stock Exchange is recognized as the largest stock exchange for aquaculture and seafood companies globally and Sino Agro Food believes that the Company will benefit from the visibility that it will receive from an investment community with experience and in depth aquaculture knowledge.

The Company has engaged Arctic Securities as its financial advisor in preparation for a public market listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Arctic Securities is a leading financial institution in Norway with extensive expertise in aquaculture, including a top ranked equity research team.
Based on advice provided by Arctic Securities, it is the Company's objective to list its common equity on the Oslo Stock Exchange as soon as practicable. In conjunction with its listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the Company will expand and strengthen its Board of Directors.

Appointment of Bertil Tiusanen as new Chief Financial Officer
Bertil Tiusanen is joining the company as the new Group CFO and responsible for Business Development as of May 1st, 2015. Following Mr. Tiusanen's appointment, Miss Olivia Lai will act as our group's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Deputy CFO.

Mr. Tiusanen's career credentials include CFO positions at several multi-billion U.S. dollar companies in Sweden, where he has spearheaded project financings, negotiated corporate wide bond issues and obtained dual exchange listings on Nasdaq US and Tokyo Stock Exchange. More recently, he has been an advisor to the Norwegian government.

Mr. Tiusanen observed, "After having spent a significant amount of time familiarizing myself with the Company, I am highly impressed with the operations that Mr. Solomon Lee and his team have built up in a relatively short period of time. I am delighted to join the Company at this stage, when the proof of concept stage is completed and ready to be scaled up to a new level, particularly with regards to its unique organic prawn production. I hope that my experience and relations in the financial sector will contribute to the Company's ability to capture these growth opportunities in an efficient and shareholder friendly manner."

Appointment of Tomas Oqvist as Nordic IR
Box Communications has been engaged to strengthen the existing IR team with extensive expertise in financial analysis and Nordic region specific communication. Tomas Oqvist, previously top-ranked Swedish equity analyst and founding partner of Box Communications, will act as Nordic IR Manager with special responsibility for institutional investors. Mr. Oqvist will be located in Stockholm.

Corporate IR representative Peter Grossman commented, "Tomas and I will coordinate the Company's Investor Relations activities going forward. With the initiatives that the Company has taken, I have confidence that Sino Agro Food will continue to broaden its investor base, including increased institutional investor interest both in North America and in Europe.

Mr. Fredrik Danielsson, Euro China Capital commented: "In association with the first strategy meeting with the company, a number of parallel processes were initiated in the areas covered by the "broad strategic plan" to create shareholder value that was announced at the end of last year. I am pleased that some of these processes now have been converted into concrete results. The appointments and actions announced today are important milestones in the transition of Sino Agro Food to a company with a more normalized ability to finance itself, not least with regards to debt financing."

About Arctic Securities AS
Arctic Securities is an employee owned investment bank and is independent of all financial institutions. Arctic Securities' absolute commitment to integrity, quality and independent research, focusing on competence, discretion and rapid execution, are Arctic Securities' core competitive advantages. Arctic Securities has unparalleled corporate finance experience in the Norwegian market.

About Bertil Tiusanen
Mr Tiusanen, age 66, has a background as CFO in a number of large Swedish corporations including Vattenfall, a major European energy company with annual revenues of USD 19 billion and Coop AB, one of the largest Nordic grocery retailers with annual revenues of USD 4 billion. He has served on the board of several Swedish and Norwegian companies and is currently working full time as an advisor to the Norwegian Government.

About Box Communications
Box Communications is a Stockholm-based team of communications experts with previous careers in media, finance, business and politics. Mr. Oqvist, age 51, is a founding partner of Box Communications and has a solid background in strategic financial communications. Prior to working as an investor relations and communications consultant, Mr. Oqvist has more than 15 years experience in the financial markets, with equity analyst positions at Carnegie and at Alfred Berg. He was a top ranked analyst in Sweden for several years. He has advised major Swedish, European and American institutions trading in Nordic equities and also participated in several IPO's and M&A transactions.

About Sino Agro Food, Inc.
Sino Agro Food, Inc. is an agriculture technology and natural food holding company with principal operations in the People's Republic of China. The Company acquires and maintains equity stakes in a cohesive portfolio of companies that SIAF forms according to its core mission to produce, distribute, market and sell natural, sustainable protein food and produce, primarily seafood and cattle, to the rapidly growing middle class in China. SIAF provides financial oversight and strategic direction for each company, and for the interoperation between companies. The Company owns or licenses patents, proprietary methods, and other intellectual properties in its areas of expertise. SIAF provides consulting and services to joint venture partners to construct and operate food businesses, primarily producing wholesale protein foods. Further joint ventures market and distribute the wholesale products as part of an overall "farm to table" concept and business strategy.

News and updates about Sino Agro Food, Inc., including key information, are published on the Company's website (http://www.sinoagrofood.com) and the Company's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SinoAgroFoodInc).

Forward Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements relating to the business of SIAF and its subsidiary companies. All statements other than historical facts are forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects" or similar expressions. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. These risks and uncertainties are described in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements are based on SIAF's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on SIAF. There is no assurance that future developments affecting SIAF will be those anticipated by SIAF. SIAF undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.

Not a Broker/Dealer or Financial Advisor
Sino Agro Food, Inc. is not a Registered Broker/Dealer or a Financial Advisor, nor does it hold itself out to be a Registered Broker/Dealer or Financial Advisor. All material presented in this press release, on the Company's website or other media is not to be regarded as investment advice and is only for informative purposes. Readers should verify all claims and conduct their own due diligence before investing in Sino Agro Food, Inc. Investing in small-cap, micro cap and penny stock securities is speculative and carries a high degree of risk.

No Offer of Securities
None of the information featured in this press release constitutes an offer or solicitation to purchase or to sell any securities of Sino Agro Food, Inc.

[1] The definition "Aquaculture operations" includes all seafood related business in the Sino Agro Food group but it is not a legal entity itself.  Sino Agro Food's Aquaculture operations include the legal entities Capital Award (100% equity ownership) and Fish Farm 1 (75% equity ownership). The seafood import business reported under Sino Agro Food Inc. (100% equity ownership) is also included as part of the Aquaculture operations. In addition, the Aquaculture operations have options to reach 75% equity ownership in the following non-consolidated companies: Fish Farm 2 (remaining cost to reach 75% ownership is currently USD 20.2 million), Prawn Farm 1 (remaining cost to reach 75% ownership is currently USD 6.4 million) and Prawn Farm 2 (remaining cost to reach 75% ownership is currently USD 19.3 million).

[2] For reference, in 2014 Fish Farm 1's RAS production of just over 1,000 metric tonnes generated a gross profit of approximately USD 6 million.

[3] Includes a 75% ownership in Cattle Farm 1.

SOURCE Sino Agro Food, Inc.

For further information: Peter Grossman, Investor Relations, +1 (775) 901-0344, info@sinoagrofood.com; Tomas Oqvist, Investor Relations - Nordic Countries, +46 70 7979793, se-info@sinoagrofood.com