Grundfos and Agroinvest invest in environmental technology for the agricultural sector

04/05/2004

The Grundfos Group, Danish agricultural venture company Agroinvest A/S, the previous main shareholder, and two private individuals together invest DKK 7.7 million in Staring Miljø A/S, an environmental technology company based in Denmark.

Staring Miljø's systems convert liquid manure in a process that optimises utilisation of the nutritional value and minimises the discharge of nitrogen. The systems reduce surface requirements for the distribution of liquid manure by 50%, and the technology therefore has considerable potential.

“In the Grundfos Group, we continuously work pro-actively to improve the environment, both in terms of products and production,” says Vice Group President Carsten Bjerg, Grundfos. “Staring miljø's product range is of interest to us, from a technological as well as a commercial point of view. Pumps are an important part of the systems, and we believe Staring’s products have considerable growth potential in the long run. However, it is just as important that this investment allows us to be pro-active about an important environmental issue and contributes to ensuring a sustainable development in the agricultural sector.”

Leif Stiholt, who in the past was the main shareholder of Staring Miljø A/S, and two senior staff members, Jens Østergaard Jensen and Tommy Bredal, also contribute to the capital injection.

In the future, the board of Staring Miljø A/S will consist of Leif Stiholt, Stiholt Holding A/S, Lars Sylvest, Grundfos Finance A/S and Niels Skadhauge, Agroinvest A/S.

In recent years, Staring Miljø has developed and marketed a new environmental system for use in animal husbandry. The system, which acidifies liquid manure, reduces the evaporation of nitrogen by at least 70% and, at the same time, improves the nutritional value of the manure in the field. The system has the advantage to the farmer of being both reliable and cheap to operate. As a more advanced version of the product, Staring Miljø has recently completed the development of an advanced technological separation system that was presented for the first time at the Agromek trade fair in Herning in January 2004.

Jens Østergaard Jensen, one of Denmark’s leading experts in the treatment of liquid manure, was in charge of the development work. It is thanks to his practical and theoretical knowledge of the biochemical processes in liquid manure that Staring Miljø is now able to supply a system that helps solve environmental problems in the agricultural sector.

“The acidification system has already been sold to more than 25 farmers all over Denmark, and our experience with the system, and that of the farmers in particular, is generally very positive,” says Managing Director Tommy Bredal from Staring Miljø. “We therefore also have high expectations to the new separation system, which is based on the same principles as the acidification system: It is simple, cheap and extremely efficient,” Tommy Bredal adds.

To Agroinvest, it is important to develop an environmental system that allows farmers to maintain and increase animal production without putting a strain on the environment. “We are impressed with the favourable relationship between price, yield and reliability in the systems produced by Staring Miljø,” says Managing Director Jens Lohfert Jørgensen from Agroinvest, and adds: “Danish farmers have no need for very costly and complex environmental solutions; they need affordable solutions that work.”
Facts about the investors:

The Grundfos Group
The ongoing development of trend-setting pumps and pump systems makes Grundfos one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers.

Grundfos has 63 sales and production companies in 38 countries worldwide and manufactures pumps for a wide range of purposes, e.g. in the building and manufacturing industries as well as for dosage, water supply and wastewater. Grundfos also manufactures engines and electronics.

In 2003, the Group had a net turnover of DKK 11.2 billion and more than 11,700 staff worldwide. The company’s strong and well-defined values underscore everything that Grundfos does and can be summarised in the following few words: responsibility, foresight and innovation.

Agroinvest A/S
Agroinvest is the Danish agricultural sector’s mutual venture capital investment company. It is owned by, amongst others, the Agricultural Council of Denmark, Danish Agriculture, the Federation of Danish Pig Producers and Slaughterhouses and the Danish Dairy Board. Agroinvest invests in innovative companies in the agricultural and food sectors.

Stiholt Holding A/S
Stiholt Holding is the parent company of the Stiholt Group. The Group consists of Im. Stiholt A/S, which has 9 branches in Denmark offering sales and service of transport equipment, and the listed company Scandinavian Brake System A/S, which manufactures spare parts for automobile and motor cycle brakes, which are marketed all over the world.

The Group also comprises Staring Maskinfabrik A/S, which has developed the NH4+ liquid manure system and the –NPK separation system.

In 2003, the Stiholt Group had a net turnover of DKK 900 million and more than 800 staff.





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