Kristoffersen cashes out of NRS for €105m. But how much could she have got?

Aslak Berge

Dramatic and unexpected sales overturned SalMar’s acquisition plans.

Eva Maria Kristoffersen manages the family company Egil Kristoffersen & Sønner, which with its share sale on Thursday overturned SalMar’s plans to get its hands on the competitor Norway Royal Salmon (NRS).

She chose to accept NTS ‘bid of NOK 240 – not SalMar’s announced bid of NOK 270. The Vesterålen, Norway farmer’s shareholding accounted for 10.5 per cent of NRS. With this sale, just before the end of the acceptance period, NTS gained 50 per cent ownership in NRS. The sale also means that Kristoffersen will lose NOK 138 million.

Why did you choose to sell so cheaply?

“I can not say anything about that,” said Eva Maria Kristoffersen, politely but firmly, to SalmonBusiness.

But why did you sell the share block for 240 kroner when you could get 270 kroner? What’s the secret?

“I think it is better that the deputy chairman of the board, Karl Johan Bakken, answers that secret, she says.

“She has chosen to accept the offer of 240 kroner. I do not want to wonder why she did that. I do not know the assessments,” Bakken told SalmonBusiness.

But she refers to you for an explanation?

“The board has been candid that there has been an offer in the market – and then  SalMar announced the intention to make an offer. She chose to take what she had in her hand, not what was on the roof.”

So if SalMar’s bid had been unconditional, would it have put the matter in a different light?

“I do not want to speculate. But given that there are no other considerations or guidelines, it is nice to get the best possible pay,” said Bakken.

Another major shareholder in NRS, Norway Fresh, has also accepted the offer of NOK 240 per share, and thus sells all its 4,496,708 shares in NRS. This corresponds to 10.32 per cent of NRS.

SalMar confirmed in a stock exchange announcement that the company’s bid of NOK 270 per NRS share has failed.

“SalMar’s offer was conditional on SalMar receiving acceptance for, or otherwise becoming the owner of, shares in NRS that represent more than 50 per cent of the shares in NRS. As this condition cannot be met, SalMar will not promote the offer either. SalMar states that the offer from SalMar, which was priced with a significant premium to NTS ‘mandatory offer and in SalMar’s assessment represented a fair valuation of NRS, will not be promoted for the shareholders in NRS, and that the synergies that could have been achieved through a merger of NRS and SalMar will not be realized. ”

On a dramatic trading day, NRS ‘share price collapsed – from NOK 276 to a closing price of NOK 226.50.


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