SalMar outbids Mowi with £1.25 billion offer for NTS

SalMar today launched a bid to buy fellow Norwegian salmon farmer NTS ASA for NOK 120 per share, 20% in cash and 80% in SalMar shares.

Published Last updated

The offer is worth NOK 15.1 billion (£1.256 bn), higher than an earlier proposed offer to shareholders by Mowi which valued NTS at NOK 13.8 bn and comprised 50% cash and 50% in shares. Mowi this afternoon announced that its bid would not be executed.

Scottish Sea Farms co-owner SalMar said shareholders representing a total of approximately 23.6% of the outstanding shares have given pre-acceptances to its offer, and shareholders owning a further 26.5% of the shares have issued a support statement related to the offer. Together, the shareholders who have pre-accepted the offer or given a support statement own a total of 50.1% of the outstanding shares.

Significant synergies

In a stock market announcement, SalMar today said that NTS and its subsidiaries SalmoNor AS, Norway Royal Salmon ASA and wellboat and service vessel company Frøy ASA had a long track-record in salmon farming, both in Central and Northern Norway as well as the Western fjords of Iceland. It was therefore expected that a combination with SalMar would realise significant synergies through a more efficient utilisation of common resources.

SalMar bid for a majority stake in Norway Royal Salmon last year but lost out to NTS when it was revealed that Egil Kristoffersen and Sons, the third-largest shareholder in NRS, had agreed to sell its stake to NTS just hours before NTS’s offer period expired.

SalmoNor, which was formed last year by the merger of SalmoNor AS and Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS, is expected to harvest 36,500 gutted weight tonnes of salmon this year and 39,000 gwt in 2023.

NRS, which is 68% owned by NTS, harvested 49,600 gwt in 2021: 38,100 gwt in Norway and 11,500 gwt in Iceland. 

From fifth place to second

SalMar produces around 180,000 tonnes (whole fish equivalent) of Atlantic salmon in Norway and acquisition of NTS would add at least 100,000 tonnes (WFE) a year to that total, lifting it above Cermaq, Lerøy and AquaChile into second place behind Mowi in the league table of the world’s biggest salmon farmers.

It is also hoping to produce 150,000 tonnes of salmon a year by 2030 through its offshore farming subsidiary, SalMar Aker Ocean.

Salmon volumes grown by Scottish Sea Farms, which SalMar owns 50/50 with Lerøy, are not added to SalMar’s own volumes because the company is classed as an associate, not a subsidiary, although SalMar still benefit’s from SSF’s profits.