Cermaq makes $23m investment in Chilean salmon farming operations – Fishupdate.com

Cermaq makes $23m investment in Chilean salmon farming operations Published:  14 July, 2004

Cermaq has taken steps to consolidate its position as a major salmon farmer, by acquiring 70% of the shares in the Chilean salmon farming company Salmones Andes, taking its ownership in the company to 100%. A company statement said the acquisition was in line with the Cermaq strategy of expanding its position as a major global salmon producer.

Group chief executive Geir Isaksen said: “Chile has been a highly successful area for us, we are excited about expanding our farming operations there.”

Salmones Andes is a company recently formed from the Chilean salmon companies Salmones Andes and Salmones Chillehue, and the assets of Marine Farms. Cermaq became a part owner of Salmones Andes during the restructuring and refinancing of the company in Q4 2002. It is currently being run by Cermaq’s subsidiary Mainstream Chile under a management contract, which includes responsibility for the operation of the farms and sale of all products.

The acquired group has a total of 17 on-growing sites and four additional applications underway, one freshwater licence, and a processing plant, which is located close to the farming assets.

The majority of the on-growing sites are in the same region as existing Mainstream sites, giving the potential for operating synergies, the company said.

Cermaq expects production to be approximately 22,000 tonnes of salmon in 2004. Together with the existing Mainstream Chile production, this will take total Cermaq production in Chile to 60,000 tonnes approximately.

The acquisition has been financed within Cermaq’s existing loan and cash facilities, and is expected to make a positive contribution to Group profits in 2004.