Photo: NTS.

Investor group plots a different course for Norwegian salmon assets

The consolidation of Norwegian salmon farming may be set to take a different tack after a group of investors collectively holding more than 50% of shares in NTS ASA made an offer for the rest of the company.

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Aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS owns SalmoNor and has a majority stake in Norway Royal Salmon, which last week entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of SalmoNor from NTS to create the world’s sixth-biggest salmon farming company.

The merger may now be in doubt after the NTS shareholder group made a voluntary cash offer to buy all outstanding shares in NTS for NOK 105 per share – and then possibly sell them on if they get a higher offer.

13% premium

The group’s offer represents a premium of 13% compared to the closing price of the NTS shares before the weekend and values the company at NOK 13.2 billion (£1.109bn).

If the offer is successful, it may open the door for the likes of salmon farming giant SalMar to have another go at acquiring the assets it missed out on when NTS bought its majority stake in NRS last year.

“The rationale for the offer is to seek to protect and further develop share values ​​in NTS by continuing to explore alternatives for the company’s shareholders, including selling the shares. The shareholders further want to improve the corporate governance of the company,” stated the shareholder group in a stock exchange announcement.

Tender document

The group will now prepare a tender document with terms and conditions and submit it for approval to the Oslo Stock Exchange. According to the announcement, it will be distributed to shareholders as soon as practicable. Thereafter, the offer period shall run for four weeks, with the possibility of extension.

NTS’s biggest shareholder, Helge Gåsø, who owns 39% of the company, is not part of the shareholder group making the offer.

The shareholder group comprises Terboli Invest AS (formerly Vite Invest AS before name change), Nils Williksen AS, Haspro AS, Rodo Invest AS, Vikna Invest AS, Andvari AS, Bergpro AS, Dolmen Invest AS, E.R. Dolmen Invest AS, Guntvedt Holding AS, Hans Martin Storø, Leif-Oskar Olsvik, Linn-Karin Olsvik, Torbjørn Olsvik, H.G. Dolmen Invest AS and Emilsen Fisk AS.