Still no sign of end to Chilean salmon farmer agony

Nova Austral pens, Chile

Shareholders in the troubled Chilean salmon farmer Nova Austral are still waiting to hear what is going to happen to the company.

After several postponements since the summer, a decision on its future was expected this week, but that has been delayed for at least a further  week – with still no guarantee the issue will be settled then.

The company is in danger of going under or being sold if a restructuring solution cannot be agreed.

But a stock exchange statement said the creditors will meet again on 17 January to decide on a re-organisation agreement.

Nova Austral is around US $500m (£392m) in debt, with the company blaming a “series of factors and exceptional situations” that prevented normal development.

The business employs more than 800 people directly, and more than 2,000 in indirect activities such as transport and the servicing and support of its sites.

Last month the employees pleaded with the Chilean government not to let the business go under as it was their only source of work in the region. Nova Austral is facing sanction from the government over various production related issues.

The latest figures from the company which relate to the third quarter show that Nova Austral posted losses of US $20.1m (£15.7m) compared to a profit of US $1.1m (£0.86m) for Q3 2022.

The EBIT showed a negative figure of US $6.9m (£5.4m) against a positive EBIT of US $12.3m (£9.6m) 12 months previously.

The company’s operations are south of the Magallanes strait, making Nova Austral the southernmost salmon farmer in the world.

 

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