NTS shareholder revolt threatens to oust leadership

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The NTS saga turned into a full blown power struggle last night, with the news that seafood entrepreneur Helge Gåsø faces the prospect of being thrown off the board of the powerful integrated aquaculture he helped to create.

The group of shareholders bidding to take full control of the business have called an extraordinary general meeting for this Friday evening, 21 January, in which they plan to remove Gåsø, his son Anders and the current NTS chairman Odd Reidar Øie.

With 37% of the shares, Helge Gåsø is the largest individual shareholder, but the group holds more than 50%. They issued a notice last night naming a prospective new seven-strong board with Hans Martin Storø as Chairman and Nils Martin Williksen as deputy chairman.

It has also named Solvår Hallesdatter Hardesty and Håvard Magne Jakobsen as two prospective new board members.

This means they want to replace Gåsø, who is also chairman of NTS-owned Norway Royal Salmon, his son and Odd Reidar Øie.

The group has said it wants to enhance shareholder value, but there is growing speculation in Norway that it may sell or split up the business. The drama is being closely monitored by rival aquaculture companies.

Born into a traditional fishing family on the island of Frøya, Helge Gåsø started out as a young fisherman before moving into aquaculture services.

Three years ago overcame owner resistance to merge the wellboat company Frøy into NTS, which was then only a small player in salmon farming. Gåsø also increased his shareholding in NTS and went onto build it into an industry giant.

Last summer he came out as the victor in a battle with SalMar by acquiring Norway Royal Salmon which he plans to merge with SalmoNor, another acquisition.

 

 

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