Nova Austral's processiong plant in Porvenir is an important source of employment.

Deal agreed to bail out debt-ridden salmon farmer Nova Austral


After months of disagreement, creditors of cash-strapped Chile salmon farmer Nova Austral have approved a judicial reorganisation plan designed to solve the company’s financial problems through debt restructuring, capital injections for its operation, and a change of ownership.

Yesterday, each of the points of the proposal was approved, although major creditor DNB, Norway’s largest bank, abstained from voting.

As part of the agreement, Nova Austral shareholders Nova Austral Spain and Albain Holdco will transfer all their shares once lenders have granted financing commitments to the salmon farmer.

First, 40% of the salmon farming company’s shares will be transferred to the secured creditors, then the remaining 60% will be transferred to primary creditors.

Ownership to creditors

Nova Austral told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site,, that it valued the positive culmination of the judicial reorganisation process which will see its debt restructured and the ownership of the company transferred to the main creditors.

“Without a doubt, this is one more step in the project that seeks to make this company viable, a task in progress that we hope will be consolidated in the future so that Nova Austral continues to contribute to the economic activity and the community of Porvenir, with quality salmon production committed to respect for the environment and the surroundings.”

Nova Austral’s financial problems have grown since an investigative media outlet revealed that it had been submitting falsely low mortality figures, a scandal which led to a change of management.

It has been penalised financially and with production restrictions by the authorities and has warned that up to 3,000 jobs in and around the southern town of Porvenir would be lost if the company folds.

$560m debt burden

Nova Austral’s revenues increased 11% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023 to US $27.6 million, mainly due to higher volumes sold (+346 tons WFE).

However, it went from profits of $19.3m in Q3 2022 to a loss of $4.6m.

Nova Austral has debts of nearly $560m, of which $415.5m is owed to northern European bond trustee and loan agency Nordic Trustee, which has offices in Scandinavia and Germany.

DNB is owed more than $69m and feed supplier Comercializadora Nutreco Chile (Skretting) is owed almost $24m.