Call to put NRS-SalmoNor merger on hold

The NTS board has called for the postponement of the proposed merger between two of its subsidiaries, Norway Royal Salmon and SalmoNor. It is also calling for an investigation into the plan.

SalMar, which has offered NOK 15.1 billion (£1.25bn) to take over the NTS Group, is not directly involved in this widening rift between a parent and its most important satellite business. Even so, the outcome could potentially eventually have an impact on SalMar’s offer. Most observers, however, still expect the acquisition of NRS to go ahead.

SalMar, which says it has majority support from NTS shareholders for its takeover bid, is firmly against combining Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) and SalmoNor. The SalMar management feels so strongly that they have made it a condition of their bid.

In a message to the Oslo Stock Exchange yesterday, the NTS parent board has called for the election of a new NRS board and for the deadline of any planned merger to be extended until almost the end of the year when the SalMar takeover should be formally completed.

The board also wants the NRS/SalmoNor merger plan to be discussed at an extraordinary general meeting of the NRS board. NTS owns 68.14% of the shares in Norway Royal Salmon.

SalMar has set a deadline of Friday 1 April for other shareholders to decide on its offer for NTS.

However, the NRS board has refuted this demand, stating that a “legally binding agreement” for the purchase of SalmoNor was entered into in January.

NRS also believes that a merger between the two is now an even more attractive proposition for shareholders and has demanded that it goes ahead otherwise it could damage shareholder value in NRS and the interests of minority shareholders.



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