SALMAR has announced it is to speed up the development of its Icelandic salmon business Arnarlax after it completed securing a majority stake in the company today.
The Norwegian salmon farmer has informed the Oslo Stock Exchange that it has proceeded with its plan to purchase 3,268,670 shares in Arnlarlax at a price of NOK 55 per share, paying a total of NOK 179,776,850 (about £16 million).
SalMar already owned 41.95 per cent of the shares in Arnarlax and this deal increases the ownership interest to 54.23 per cent.
After the transaction, SalMar said it will now have control of Arnarlax. There was no mention of the chairman and founder of the Icelandic company, Kjartan Olafsson, who said last week he planned to continue as a part owner and would not sell his shares in response to the offer.
SalMar said the transaction represented a natural step forward as it now ‘wishes to further develop Arnarlax and salmon farming in Iceland’.
Local councils in the Westfjords region of Iceland, where Arnarlax and another salmon farmer, Arctic Sea Farm, want to expand, have said growth would bring major economic and employment benefits to their communities.
Arnarlax is Iceland’s largest salmon farmer and one of its most valuable companies, worth an estimated 21 billion Icelandic kroner, almost as much as the national airline.
Launched in 2009, it is now a fully integrated producer with its own smolt plants, sea locations, well boat, slaughter plant and sales unit.