Processor Marel set to take over Valka

Guðbjörg Heiða Guðmundsdóttir, Executive Vice President Marel Fish and Helgi Hjálmarsson, founder and CEO of Valka

Icelandic food processing group Marel has struck a deal to acquire Valka ehf, a fish processing business also based in Iceland.

Under the deal Marel will acquire more than 90% of Valka’s share capital and the remaining shareholders will be invited to sell their stock on the same terms.

The purchase price will be paid 50% in cash and 50% in Marel shares, except for smaller shareholders who will have the option of a full cash payment. Sellers that receive Marel shares will undertake a lock-up period of 18 months.

Valka operates in the salmon and whitefish processing industries. Its product range includes waterjet cutting, trimming, and grading solutions for whitefish and salmon. Valka is based in Iceland and Norway and its annual revenue is around €17m. The company has 105 employees.

Helgi Hjálmarsson, Valka’s founder and CEO, will take on a role as Director of Solution Integrity within Marel. He said: “The establishment of Valka in 2003 was a big step for me after nine excellent years in Marel where I worked on many innovative projects. By joining Marel you could say we are moving back home because both companies share the same vision and passion for developing high-tech processing solutions that transform the way fish is processed in a sustainable way.

“Our combined product offering will make us stronger together and even better at providing full-line solutions for our customers.”

Guðbjörg Heiða Guðmundsdóttir, Executive Vice President Marel Fish, said: “We are excited to join forces with Valka, an innovative provider of advanced processing solutions for the fish industry. Valka is technologically very strong and has good insight into market needs.

“Together the companies will build on the best of both, increase scale, accelerate innovation and strengthen our combined offering to continue to provide our customers with best-in-class processing solutions in the growing food processing industry.”

Earlier this year Marel acquired a 40% stake in Stranda Prolog, the Norwegian supplier of salmon processing solutions.

The closing of the Valka acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including anti-trust approval from the Icelandic Anti-trust Authority, and is expected to take place later this year.