SalMar CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik explained their decision at their quarterly presentation in Oslo.
Former SalMar hatchery manager Bjørn Hembre has been Arnarlax’s CEO since January 2019 and Ervik is pleased that they are putting in place a good operating foundation at the Icelandic-based salmon farmers.
“Now we have put in place several former SalMar people who can operate there. Now it’s about transferring expertise from SalMar and Norway to Arnarlax and Iceland,” said Ervik to SalmonBusiness.
Along with a mix, of what he characterises as, good and enthusiastic Icelandic workers, Ervik hopes that they can now take Arnarlax a step further in the development.
“The Icelanders do not have the experience needed, so getting a good mix where to develop them is important. It is a conscious strategy on our part, yes,” said Ervik.
On Thursday morning, SalMar increased its stake in Arnarlax from 41.95 per-cent to 54.23 per-cent. With this, SalMar is also obliged, according to the shareholder agreement, to make an offer to the rest of the shareholders in Arnarlax.
“This process starts now and will be completed within a short time,” said Ervik.
Initially, SalMar is pleased to have control of the company, said Ervik.
“It is a natural step for us. This means that we have control over the company and we can get even closer. Now that many of our “own” people have been put in place, we have better faith in the development of the company in the future,” said Ervik.
During the quarterly presentation of SalMar at Hotel Continental in Oslo, Ervik noted that autumn 2018 was good for Arnarlax.
In the fourth quarter, Arnarlax started harvesting 2017’s generation, which, according to the company, showed better biology than previous generations.
A harvest volume of 10,000 tonnes is expected in 2019 from the Icelandic fish farming company.