Norwegian farmers in £130m merger

TWO medium sized businesses in the Norwegian aquaculture sector have joined forces – and say they are ready to challenge the big companies.

NTS ASA has entered into an agreement to purchase all shares in the fish farmer Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS in a share deal worth around NOK 1.43 billion (£130 million)

A statement said NTS and MNH had now become ‘a strong aquaculture group with competent owners who have a common commitment to preserve and develop coastal values’.

The newly merged business said it has ambitions for further growth along the Norwegian coast and is exploring new markets.

NTS is one of the largest suppliers of well boats and other services to the aquaculture industry, and has also broken into the Canadian market with its well boats.

Meanwhile, MNH has 10 ordinary salmon farming licences, two R & D licences and expects a production of 15,000 tonnes this year. It has control over the entire value chain for salmon, with hatcheries, cleaner fish production, and a processing operation.

Its investment earlier this year in the new Icelandic farm, Fiskeldi Austfjarda, fits in well with NTS’s ambitious growth ambitions.

NTS managing director Harry Bøe said he saw great synergies and future development opportunities in what is now a fully integrated aquaculture group.

And MNH owner Nils Martin Williksen said: ‘We now offer an established, competitive and flexible alternative to the fish farming giants in Norway.’

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