NTS bid for salmon farmer’s shares limping to a close

Norwegian aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS ASA appeard to have failed in its bid to acquire 100% of fish farmer Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) via a mandatory share offer.

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The company made a mandatory offer of NOK 209 per share in July after increasing its stake in NRS to 34.57% in a share swap.

The NRS board said the offer was too low, and NTS later raised its price to NOK 240, but with just hours to go in the offer period NRS said NTS had so far received acceptance under the offer for a total of 1,557,858 shares. That gives NTS a total of just 40.6% of NRS shares and votes.

Counter offer

The NRS board has recommended shareholders choose a counter offer of NOK 270 per share from salmon farmer SalMar, even though that offer is conditional upon SalMar achieving more than 50% ownership.

NRS shares have reached an even higher price today. NRS chief executive Charles Høstlund sold 24,037 shares in the company at NOK 275 per share.

Chief financial officer Ola Loe sold 195,361 shares at NOK 275, and Ramsfjell AS, classed as a close associate to Loe, sold 44,976 shares at the same price.

Hatlebrekke Invest AS, a close associate to Klaus Hatlebrekke, COO Business at NRS, sold 150,485 NRS shares, also at NOK 275.