Merger to form world’s sixth-largest salmon farmer

Two large salmon farmers owned by Norwegian aquaculture, wellboats, shipping and service vessels company NTS ASA are being merged to create what will potentially be the world’s sixth-largest salmon farmer.

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Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) and NRS Farming today entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of SalmoNor from NTS.

NRS said the merged company has the potential to produce around 100,000 tonnes of salmon in Norway and 24,000 tonnes in Iceland.

36,500 gwt for SalmoNor

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 harvested 49,600 gwt in 2021: 38,100 gwt in Norway and 11,500 gwt in Iceland.

“We are enthusiastic over a combination with SalmoNor,” said Klaus Hatlebrekke, interim chief executive in NRS which is 68% owned by NTS.

“Through the merger we are now combining an impressing operational competence across the organisations, the most important foundation for continued growth and development, and establishment of new jobs. We look forward to working together on developing a joint company going forward.”

Further growth

Trude Olafsen, independent board member in NRS, said: “This transaction combines two leading salmon farmers with licences in some of the best regions in Norway and creates a company of considerable size, that will be in the forefront when the future of salmon farming will be formed, enabling further growth and development in the Central and North of Norway.

“The purchase of SalmoNor provides access to a very competent operational organisation that will strengthen NRS’ own organic growth opportunities and strategies going forward.”

Helge Gåsø is chairman of the board of SalmoNor and NRS, and largest owner of NTS. He is very happy with the agreement.

“This makes us even better equipped to continue to deliver good results, both for the owners and for the coastal communities. The merger helps to strengthen the aquaculture industry, and enables us to go even heavier into the areas we are already strongly present in today. We do this because we really believe in Coastal Norway,” said Gåsø.

Mandatory offer

NTS gained control of NRS in August after increasing its stake in the company to 34.57% earlier in the year, a move which obliged it to make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares. Take-up was lacklustre, and with just a few hours of the NTS offer period remaining it had just 40.6% of NRS shares and votes.

However, NTS then revealed that NRS’s third-largest shareholder, Egil Kristoffersen & Sønner AS (Egil Kristoffersen and Sons), which owned 10.51%, intended to accept the offer, giving NTS majority ownership.

The Atlantic salmon farmers producing more than the volume envisaged for the merged NRS / SalmoNor are Mowi, AquaChile, SalMar, Lerøy Seafood and Cermaq.