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NTS ASA and its largest shareholder, Helge Gåsø, now own a total of 34.57% of Norway Royal Salmon. Photo: NRS.
NTS ASA and its largest shareholder, Helge Gåsø, now own a total of 34.57% of Norway Royal Salmon. Photo: NRS.

Norwegian salmon farmer Midt-Norsk Havbruk – which is owned by aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS ASA - has acquired 14.45% of the shares in Norway Royal Salmon (NRS). This significantly strengthens NTS’s ownership position in NRS.

In a stock exchange announcement from NTS on November 23 last year, it was announced that Midt-Norsk Havbruk (MNH) had sold all its shares in Icelandic salmon farmer Ice Fish Farm to Norwegian fish farmer Måsøval, in exchange for settlement in shares in NRS.

The deal was subject to the green light from the Icelandic competition authority, which has now formally approved the Ice Fish Farm agreement.

30.84% of shares

It means NTS controls, directly and indirectly through MNH, 13,440,729 shares in NRS. This corresponds to 30.84% of the total number of shares and votes in NRS.

“As an integrated aquaculture group, NTS ASA has a goal of being an active participant in the production of 100,000 tonnes of salmon in Norway,” said chairman Odd R Øie.

NRS aims to harvest a total of 52,000 tonnes of salmon this year, of which 40,000 tonnes are produced in Norway. Earlier this month, it was announced that the boards of NTS and Salmonor had reached an agreement on a merger between MNH and Salmonor. It will provide a new, large and robust farming player on the Namdal coast with a total harvest volume in 2021 of about 37,000 tonnes.

In addition to significant aquaculture operations in Norway, NRS has a 50.3% stake in Arctic Fish, which farms salmon on the northwest coast of Iceland with an estimated harvest volume of 12,000 tonnes this year.

Reducing holding

In addition to NTS directly and indirectly controlling 30.84%  of the shares and votes in NRS, Helge Gåsø, board member and largest single shareholder in NTS, owns 3.72% of the shares in NRS through his company Gåsø Næringsutvikling AS. Helge Gåsø is also chairman of NRS.

Gåsø Næringsutvikling is considered a related party to NTS in accordance with the Securities Act. Thus, Gåsø’s ownership position in NRS is also considered part of NTS’s influence on NRS. The total ownership of 34.57% thus triggers a madatory offer obligation on all NRS shares that are not owned by the grouping NTS, MNH or Gåsø Næringsutvikling.

The consolidated group, including MNH, does not intend to make a mandatory offer and will therefore seek to complete a sell-down of shares below the mandatory offer threshold, within the four wees deadline for doing so.