Aker Seafoods appoints Farstad as new CEO – Fishfarmer Magazine

Aker Seafoods appoints Farstad as new CEO25 June, 2010 –

THOMAS Farstad, currently acting CEO of Marine Harvest, has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Aker Seafoods ASA.

The Aker Seafoods board has resolved to continue developing the seafood group through two independent businesses and said they are very satisfied with the appointment Mr Farstad as chief executive.

Chairman Frank O Reite said: “He has detailed knowledge of the seafood industry and leadership experience from listed companies. These are important qualifications for the job of improving our profitability.”

Mr Farstad will be joining Aker Seafoods during the course of the year.

“Liv Monica Stubholt has done an impressive job as our acting chief executive,” says Mr Reite. “She and her management team, together with our union representatives, have conducted a thorough process to identify improvement areas. The outcome is that the group will be developed as two independent companies.”

Processing and sales will be demerged into a separate company under the name Norway Seafoods AS. At its creation, this company will be wholly owned by Aker Seafoods. The transaction takes effect from the end of June/beginning of July.

Norway Seafoods will be under the leadership of Thomas Farstad.

Harvesting will remain a separate business area in Aker Seafoods under the leadership of Trond Williksen, currently executive vice president for harvesting in the group. This business comprises 12 trawlers in Norway and two in Spain, with a total of approximately 400 employees. Operating revenues are about NOK 600 million per year. The restructuring does not impact delivery obligations for trawlers and other licensing terms.

Agreements between the two companies will be entered into at market terms and employee rights will be maintained in each of the companies. Furthermore, the Norway Seafoods workforce will have boardroom representation in Aker Seafoods.

Focusing the business through two companies does not in itself generate any need for additional financing, however Norway Seafoods will be financed on a stand alone basis.

The restructuring will ensure that Norway Seafoods is established as market-oriented processing business which provides the basis to participate in the necessary restructuring of the Norwegian seafood processing industry. Strategic collaboration with new partners and investors will be considered and a stock market listing could be relevant for Norway Seafoods in the longer term.

Norway Seafoods will be responsible for operation of 11 factories and fish receiving facilities in Norway, three facilities in Denmark and two in France. The company will have about 1,200 employees in all, including 670 in Norway, and operating revenues in excess of NOK 2 billion per annum.

“This restructuring will place us in a better position to strengthen our fresh-fish strategy, and thereby increase deliveries from the coastal fishing fleet to the factories,” says acting chief executive Stubholt. “I also expect the new company to increase its share of high-margin products.