Farne Salmon owner faces takeover bid15 June, 2009 – THE 400 plus strong workforce at Farne Salmon and Trout production’s centre at Duns on the Scottish Borders could soon find they are under a change of leadership.The parent company Alfesca has announced that Lur Berri, a French company with a subsidiary operating under Icelandic laws, is making an offer to Alfesca shareholders to buy their shares in the business. The bid also includes other interested parties and some senior management members of Alfesca and its subsidiaries. Last month Lur Berri’s Iceland subsidiary acquired just under three per cent of the Alfesca share capital, but other members of the consortium including Alfesca chief executive Xavier Govare already own 67.44 per cent of the share capital and a majority share in voting rights.Alfesca is a major seafood producer supplying many of Britain and Europe’s main retailers with salmon, shellfish, blinis and caviar. Farne Salmon and Trout, along with Lyons Seafood in England, are key operators in that set-up. Farne employs between 400 and 500 people at Duns on a regular basis, but that figure swells to almost 1,000 in the busy run up to Christmas. There is also a strong French influence in the group through its Labeyrie business.Although the downturn and high salmon prices have impacted on the company’s recent results, Alfesca has ridden the recession well and remains a high profitable concern, poised for further growth. Last year it attracted interest from the Middle East, but the Qatari interests pulled out when the recession hit Europe.