Gåsø finally parts company with NTS

Helge Gåsø

Business tycoon Helge Gåsø has completely cut his ties with the NTS salmon and aquaculture services group, which he founded almost 30 years ago.

According to a recent stock exchange announcement, he has sold his and his family’s remaining 46 million plus shares in the business, worth a total of NOK 3.5bn (£295m).

Gåsø’s business rival, SalMar founder Gustav Witzøe, has taken over as chairman of the NTS board following SalMar’s successful takeover bid for the NTS group last year.

SalMar now controls almost all of the NTS shares, making it Norway’s second largest salmon farmer after Mowi. NTS formally delisted from the Oslo Stock Exchange this week.

It is thought Gåsø will now invest most of the proceeds from the sale in his new business venture Frøy Kapital which became operational in September and is widely believed to have a capital base of NOK 6bn (around £500m) .

He said back in the summer: “We have an ambition to be able to raise up to NOK 10 billion in investment capital. The motivation is quite simply to help develop even more profitable companies and jobs along the coast and in the region.”

He has also more than hinted that he plans to return to salmon farming.

The SalMar-NTS battle, which dominated industry headlines through much of last year, involved two intense salmon farming rivals from the same island of Frøya near the port of Trondheim.

The main activities of NTS include salmon farming and wide ranging aquaculture services such as the provision of well boats and support craft.

SalMar was founded in 1991 following the acquisition of a licence for the production of farmed salmon and a whitefish production plant from a company that had gone into liquidation.

The growth of both businesses has been both impressive and rapid.