SalMar closes in on NTS prize

Reports from Norway suggest that the obstacles in SalMar’s bid to take control of the rival aquaculture business NTS, were finally cleared yesterday.

It follows an extraordinary general meeting of Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) in which it was agreed that a share issue plan to merge the salmon farming businesses of NRS and SalmoNor, both majority owned by NTS, should be shelved until the end of the year.

The meeting, which also agreed the election of a new NRS board, lasted for less than an hour.

SalMar has always insisted that a condition of its offer is that such a merger should not go ahead. It says it has enough NTS shares to seal its offer for NTS which closes on 29 April.

However, there have been so many twists and personality clashes to this long running saga since the beginning of the year that another late intervention cannot be ruled out.

Some NRS investors believe the SalMar offer for NTS is too low, claiming that small independent shareholders are not getting the best deal.

SalMar CEO Gustav Witzøe has maintained a dignified silence throughout the entire drama, waiting patiently for the NTS prize to fall into his hands.

He now has less than 10 days until he becomes the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon farmer after Mowi.

Witzøe has already announced he plans to step down as Salmar CEO within the next few weeks. NTS should hand him the perfect retirement present.

Gustav Witzøe