Former Rostein chairman is large Naviera Orca shareholder

Aslak Berge

While Chilean Naviera Orca is currently in legal proceedings against wellboat competitors Aquaship and Sølvtrans, major shareholder Odd Einar Sandøy has the support of another foreign shareholder, namely former Rostein chairman of the board Kjell Audun Aasen.

Odd Einar Sandøy, owner of the world’s largest wellboat company Rostein, has been reported as a stakeholder in Naviera Orca, the Chilean shipping company that is dragging Sølvtrans and Aquaship through the Chilean legal system for alleged violations of ownership laws in the country. In Chile, as in many other countries, it is not permitted for foreigners to control the ownership of shipping companies that operate national coastal freight.

Photo: Naviera Orca

However, Sandøy is not the only foreign owner in Naviera Orca. He’s got an old acquaintance with him.

Kjell Audun Aasen has in recent years has best become known as major owner and partner in the salmon farm Nekst (which has plans both at land and sea), which has applied and received two development open sea licences. But he was also a former chairman of Rostein and its holding company Rofisk, until his resignation in 2010.

Aasen was central in a period in which Rostein had boats under contract in Canada. The year after his Rostein exit, Aasen and Sandøy started Orca Naviera. The Orca name (meaning killer whales) comes from the name they had on the wellboats that sailed in Canada.

According to an article on Kyst, Odd Einar Sandøy “together with his Norwegian business partner Kjell Audun Aasen, owns 49 per-cent of Naviera Orca”. Given that Sandøy owns 22 per-cent of Orca Naviera, it implies that Aasen owns 27 per-cent of the company.

Aasen rejects this.

Kjell Audun Aasen. PHOTO: Private

“22 per-cent. As Odd Einar,” he told SalmonBusiness of his ownership record. Aasen is also a board member of Naviera Orca.

He did not wish to comment on the ongoing lawsuits against Sølvtrans Chile.

“This is all going on down there. It’s complex, and I have nothing to add beyond what you are writing,” said Aasen. “There are three court cases that are going on. A criminal case, a civil case and a free trade case. The first has already been appealed. I guess they want to go to the Supreme Court,” he said.

“We brought in legal opinion when we started, with Chilean leadership, which we have. The majority are Chilean. It’s worked out well for us, so nationality doesn’t matter. Ezequías Alliende is CEO and he is also a shareholder. There are also other shareholders, partners of him”.

How much does Alliende own?

“You have to ask him that,” replied Aasen. “It’s positive for us who have a Chilean partner there. We’ve built boats and they’re operating them. They’re good people,” said Aasen.

“We have three boats. They go all over the place, for many different customers,” he added.

Naviera Orca communications adviser Carlos Correa Bau provided the following shareholder structure for the Chilean wellboat company:

  • 44 per-cent Trigvasson Ltda (50/50 Kjell Audnn Asen and Odd Einar Sandøy)
  • 6 per-cent Ezequias Alliende
  • 50 per-cent Annapolis Ltda (partnership owned by Chilean entrepreneurs, including Allie)
Photo: Naviera Orca

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