A larger and more powerful Icelandic salmon farming operation looks set to emerge following a financial restructuring in Oslo.
The Norwegian transport and aquaculture services group NTS is increasing its stake in Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) after selling its shares in the company which owns the Icelandic salmon farmer Ice Fish Farm.
In return, the Norwegian investment company Måsøval Eiendom AS has entered into an agreement with the NTS subsidiary Midt-Norsk Havbruk (MNH) for the purchase of all the shares in Ice Fish Farm, which is the holding company of Fiskeldi Austfjörður.
The deal means that Måsøval, which farms in Iceland as Laxar Fiskeldi, will have a majority stake in in two Icelandic salmon companies with its new stake in Fiskeldi Austfjarðar (Ice Fish Farm).
In return Måsøval is selling its holding in Norway Royal Salmon to MNH. In a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange Måsøval said it looked forward to the opportunity to buy this share in Ice Fish Farm.
The statement added: “it was an opportunity to strengthen our operations and investments in Iceland in such a way that we could not refuse it.”
Together, the two Icelandic companies have the potential to produce up to 54,000 tonnes of salmon a year, provided they obtain all the necessary permits.
Commenting on the Norway Royal Salmon share purchase, NTS chairman Nils Martin Williksen said: “As an integrated aquaculture group, NTS has set itself the goal of building a large business in aqua service and being an active participant in the production of 100,000 tonnes of salmon in Norway during a three- to five-year period.
“In accordance with this, the transactions as we have done today increase our exposure to Norwegian aquaculture and the company we believe is best positioned for further growth in the sector.
“NRS has good locations, an attractive license portfolio and will through significant investments in e.g. smolt plants make operations even better in the years ahead. Through Arctic Fish, the company also has a significant exposure in Iceland, which means that NTS ASA is still exposed to the exciting development there.”