Pan fish Scotland MD says job loss fears are exaggerated – Fishupdate.com

Pan fish Scotland MD says job loss fears are exaggerated Published:  13 March, 2006

FEARS of job losses stemming from the €1.3 billion (£896m) takeover of Scotland’s largest salmon farming company, Marine Harvest, by its Norwegian rival Pan Fish have been exaggerated, the Sunday Herald reported.

Last week, Norway-based salmon farmer Pan Fish agreed to acquire its rival Marine Harvest, which employs 540 people in Scotland and produced 35,000 tonnes of farmed salmon in 2005. Pan fish employs 179 people in Scotland and produced 13,000 tonnes of salmon last year.

The deal, coupled with the likelihood of a separate takeover of Fjord Seafood by Pan Fish, has sparked alarm among Highland politicians. They have called on the Competition Commission to investigate the buyout.

One industry source reportedly predicted job losses could be in line with the 200 lost when Stolt Sea Farms merged with Marine Harvest in April 2005.

However, fears of job losses have been exaggerated, according to OddGeir Oddsen, Managing Director of Pan Fish Scotland.

“There will be some job losses on the administrative side but it will not be as high as 200. In the past two years, both Marine Harvest and Pan Fish Scotland have been working very hard to reduce their costs,” he reportedly said.

Both companies currently have administrative bases in Fort William, Edinburgh, Paisley and Cairndow on Loch Fyne, which should provide scope for rationalisation. Industry insiders believe the merged group will make Fort William its key operational hub.

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