Laxar Fiskeldi and Ice Fish Farm set to merge

© Laxar Fiskeldi

Two of Iceland’s leading fish farming companies have announced they are to press ahead with merger plans.

Ice Fish Farm has said it is buying Laxar Fiskeldi through a share deal. Both are financially linked through the majority shareholders Måsøval Eiendom, Skinney Þinganes and Eggjahvita.

They have also worked together in a number of areas. In a joint announcement the companies said the long term goal was to create a highly efficient and environmentally aware business delivering high quality premium salmon.

The two business began negotiations to “explore future strategic opportunities” back in June this year. Some of their salmon farms in eastern Iceland are physically fairly close to each other.

The new enlarged company will be largely concentrated on the eastern part of Iceland with a current total biomass of 36,000 tonnes. However, Ice Fish Farm also operates in the south of the country and has applications pending for an additional 17,000 tonnes.

Laxar Fiskeldi is a fully integrated business and also has its own smolt production and hatchery facilities. It produces high quality salmon mainly for markets in the United States and Europe.

Ice Fish Farm, which is listed on Oslo’s EuroNext Growth market, successfully turned loss into profit during the final quarter of last year.

It reported an operating EBIT or profit of NOK 9.2m (£768,000) and saw revenues shoot up from NOK 8m to NOK 50.9m. It also said investment in smolt capacity was moving at a faster pace than originally planned.

The proposed deal is the latest in a series of mergers among salmon businesses.