Marine Harvest sell farms in Orkney and Shetland27 March, 2014 –
MARINE Harvest announced today that it is selling its integrated farming operations on Shetland and Orkney to the North American company Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
The operations have an estimated combined harvest volume for this year of 17,400 tons. Marine Harvest said the agreed enterprise value (EV) is £122.5-million which corresponds to an EV per kilogram of NOK 70.
Cooke Aquaculture was established from small beginnings in 1985 as Kelly Cove Salmon by Gifford, Michael and Glenn Cooke.
Over the years the company expanded its facilities, product lines and distribution networks to become the fully integrated corporation it is today with operations in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Maine, Chile and Spain, as well as sales people in major centres in the United States and Canada.
Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Cooke Aquaculture processes and sells more than 160 million lbs of Atlantic salmon, five million lbs of trout and 40 million lbs of sea bass and sea bream each year.
In a statement today, Marine Harvest said that the divestment is a consequence of the remedies set forth by the EU Commission for the approval of the Morpol transaction in September 2013.
The EU Commission required Marine Harvest to divest farming capacity on the Shetland and Orkney Islands. The agreement is conditional on the EU Commission approving that the purchaser and the transaction as well as the sales terms satisfy these remedies.
The majority of the assets included in the transaction have been booked as assets held for sale and Marine Harvest’s volumes guidance will not be affected by the transaction.
Based on the year end 2013 balance sheet, anticipated gain on the sale is approximately NOK 300 million. Final gain is to be determined upon completion of the transaction.
A completion of the sale is likely to increase the potential dividend capacity for Q1. The final Q1 dividend will be decided by the Board in connection with the Q1 result announcement planned for 30 April.
Arctic Securities has acted as financial advisor and Wiersholm and Brodies have acted as legal advisors in the transaction.