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Takeover bid price is too low, say Norway Royal Salmon directors

The board of takeover target Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) tonight recommended that shareholders should not sell their stock for the price being offered by aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS ASA.

NTS wants to buy NRS to help fulfil its ambition of producing 100,000 tonnes of salmon annually, but the NRS board said that the offer price of NOK 209 per share – which values NRS at NOK 9.1 billion (£747 million) – does not reflect the underlying values in the company.

“The Board has engaged Arctic Securities AS as financial advisor and Advokatfirmaet Wiersholm AS as legal advisor in connection with the offer. Together with its advisors the Board will explore alternatives for the company and its shareholders,” NRS said in a press release.

“Please also note that any acceptance of the offer from NTS ASA is irrevocable. This means that a shareholder who accepts the offer is not allowed to withdraw the acceptance even if a better offer should be made. Any shareholders considering accepting the offer are thus recommended to wait to decide whether to accept the offer until the last day in the offer period to maintain the possibility to accept any potential superior offer.”

Helge Gåsø

NRS said its board will publish a formal statement on the offer according at the latest one week before expiration of the offer period on August 16.

“It has been clarified with Oslo Stock Exchange that it is the Board other than its chairman, Helge Gåsø (who is a close associate to NTS ASA and has disqualified himself from participating in the Board’s consideration of the offer), that will give the statement,” stated NRS.

Gåsø is NTS’s largest shareholder and owns 3.72% of NRS via his holding company, Gåsø Næringsutvikling.

There are 43,572,191 shares in NRS, according to information on its website. That gives it a value of NOK 9,106,587,919 at the price of NOK 209 per share that NTS is offering.