Rebel NTS shareholders to sue SalMar

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The feud between a group of former NTS shareholders and the salmon farming giant SalMar shows no sign of letting up.

Some shareholders have been unhappy at the price they were offered during the takeover saga last year, which saw SalMar eventually succeed in acquiring NTS. The deal brought Norway Royal Salmon, SalmoNor and the Frøy wellboat and aquaculture services business under SalMar’s control.

Now a group of 120 rebels, mainly from the Trondelag area, have warned they plan to sue SalMar in the hope of obtaining a higher share price. They reportedly held just under 7% of the shares before the acquisition.

One major investor, Odd Reider Øie said he feared all along that NTS was going to sell cheaply, and that events had proved him to be right.

The group have issued a press release saying that they did not accept the SalMar offer and were forced to redeem their shares at the beginning of this year. They maintain a number of small shareholders have, in effect, been defrauded.

Helge Gåsø lost the battle for control of NTS

The SalMar-NTS takeover battle was one of the most dramatic in the industry for many years and dominated the salmon financial news during 2022.

It also involved two of the industry’s most powerful personalities in Gustav Witzøe the founder of SalMar and Helge Gåsø, the founder of NTS.

Although they both hail from the same part of Norway, they were solid rivals during the takeover contest. At that time other contenders were reported to be chasing NTS including Mowi, but if that was the case it soon pulled away.

Salmar bought just over 52% of the NTS shares in early 2022 before making a mandatory offer later that year.

At the time NTS had a majority shareholding in Norway Royal Salmon, a 72% holding in Frøy and 100% ownership in the salmon farmer SalmoNor.

But that offer came around the time of the salmon tax announcement and SalMar shares fell sharply as a result.

The rebel group believe that was an overreaction and said in a news announcement this week they turned down both the mandatory and voluntary offers because they were too low.

SalMar has yet to respond.

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