With under a week until the deadline for acceptance on August 16, Norway Royal Salmon said the offer, amounting to NOK 6.3 billion (£516 million), did not match its long-term prospects.
In a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange yesterday, NRS said: ‘The board’s conclusion is supported by its view of Norway Royal Salmon's capability to generate competitive returns in the future, also taking into account the production of triploid salmon being phased out and the growth projects related to the company’s new smolt facility, the Arctic Offshore Farming concept and the successful operations on Iceland through Arctic Fish.’
Aquaculture, wellboat, shipping and service vessels company NTS, parent company of another salmon farmer, Midt-Norsk Havbruk, acquired 14.45% of NRS in a share swap with fish farmer Måsøval in June.
That took the NTS stake and the 3.72% shareholding owned by NTS’s largest owner, Helge Gåsø, to a total of 34.57%, which triggered a mandatory offer obligation on all NRS shares that are not owned by NTS, Midt-Norsk Havbruk or Gåsø’s holding company, Gåsø Næringsutvikling.
In acquiring NRS, it would become one of Norway’s biggest salmon farmers, with an estimated production of 100,000 tonnes in Norway over three to five years.
NRS aims to harvest a total of 52,000 tonnes of salmon this year, of which 40,000 tonnes are produced in Norway. NRS also owns 50.3% of Arctic Fish, which produces salmon on the northwest coast of Iceland.
NRS was established in 1992 and its shares have been listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange since 2011.