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NTS aims for 100,000 tonnes with £516m offer for Norway Royal Salmon

NTS has offered to buy the twp-thirds of NRS that it does not already control.
NTS has offered to buy the twp-thirds of NRS that it does not already control.

Aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS ASA is bidding to become one of Norway’s biggest salmon farmers by buying all of the shares in Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) with an offer worth NOK 6.3 billion (£516 million).

NTS, the 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.

Changed direction

NTS said at the time that it did not intend to make a mandatory offer and would therefore seek to complete a sell-down of shares below the mandatory offer threshold. It has since changed its mind and has decided to submit a bid for all shares at NOK 209 per share.

Gåsø Næringsutvikling will sell its 3.72% stake in NRS to NTS ASA at the same price as offered to other NRS shareholders.

“NTS ASA has a stated goal of being an active participant in the production of 100,000 tonnes of salmon in Norway during a three- to five-year period. Rather than sell down in NRS, we seek to increase our exposure to Norwegian aquaculture, in a company well positioned for further growth,” said NTS chairman Odd R Øie.

A month to decide

The Oslo Stock Exchange is expected to approve NTS’s mandatory offer today. Thereafter, all shareholders in NRS will receive the offer. NTS’s offer price of NOK 209 per share corresponds to the highest price paid or agreed by NTS or consolidated parties during the last six months before the offer obligation occurred. NRS shareholders must say yes or no to the offer no later than August 16.

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.

In June, an agreement was reached between the boards of NTS ASA and fish farmer Salmonor to merge Midt-Norsk Habvruk and Salmonor. The merged company has a total harvest volume in 2021 of approximately 37,000 tonnes.