$400 billion fund wanted to buy Fredriksen’s Mowi shares

Editorial Staff

Investors with deep pockets sought to become major owners in Mowi.

Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen may be best-known for his investments in shipping, but he is also one of the most important players in the global salmon industry. After SalMar founder Gustav Witzøe, no one has made more money from salmon than John Fredriksen.

Over the past 19 years, Fredriksen’s initial $125 million investment in Pan Fish has evolved into a 14% ownership of Mowi through his investment firm, Geveran – making him the largest shareholder in the company with a stake valued at $1.2 billion.

The fragmented ownership structure of the company has given Fredriksen de facto control of the company.

Since 2008, Mowi’s share price has increased twentyfold, not accounting for dividends, drawing significant attention from investors.

Share price Pan Fish/Marine Harvest/Mowi 1997-2024. Source: Infront

Now it has been revealed that a number of multi billion-dollar funds have been eyeing-up Fredriksen’s stake, according to a new book, Goldfinger – The Story of Mowi, written by iLaks editor and SalmonBusiness founder, Aslak Berge.

Two major investors, Temasek of Singapore and Abu Dhabi’s oil fund Mubadala, have shown a keen interest in acquiring a stake in Mowi. Temasek manages assets estimated at approximately $400 billion, while Mubadala oversees around $300 billion.

‘If there is another way to fire the CEO of a publicly traded company against their will, I would love to get the secret.’


“These two were the most active and interested in acquiring a stake in salmon, but nothing concrete ever materialized,” according to a former Goldman Sachs broker cited in the book.

The book also notes the challenges in valuation, which often prevented deals from proceeding. “There have also been a handful of other parties showing some interest, but agreements on valuation were quite common sticking points,” the former broker said.

Chairman of Mowi, Ole-Eirik Lerøy, confirmed the interest in Fredriksen’s shares, stating, “There have probably been more parties interested than just Temasek and Mubadala. But there have been no processes initiated by Fredriksen regarding this.”

Goldfinger – The Story of Mowi, published by Octavian Forlag, is released in Norway this week. The book is expected to be available in English later this year.

Ole-Eirik Lerøy. Photo: Trine Forsland

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