NRS board unanimously recommends shareholders reject NTS offer

Aslak Berge

Board believes that the bid of €883 million does not reflect the underlying value of the company.

It has been a rather low catch for shares after NTS on 16 July announced a bid of NOK 209 per share for fish farming competitor Norway Royal Salmon (NRS). This is due to the fact that NRS shares have been traded above the bid level for long periods.

On Tuesday with NRS trading at a price of NOK 211.50.

The mandatory offer was triggered when the previously entered into agreement between NTS’s wholly owned subsidiary Midt-Norsk Havbruk (MNH) and Måsøval on the sale of Ice Fish Farm was implemented in June. The implementation of the Måsøval agreement entailed settlement in shares in NRS and gave NTS control over 30.84 per cent of the shares and votes in NRS. At the same time, board member and largest owner of NTS, Helge Gåsø, owned 3.72 per cent of the NRS shares through Gåsø Næringsutvikling. The total ownership of 34.57 per cent triggered an offer obligation on all NRS shares that were not owned by NTS, MNH or Gåsø Næringsutvikling.

Read also: NTS bids €883 million for NRS

Do not recommend acceptance
According to the latest update on acceptances received under the offer, the consolidated parties now own a total of 15,670,825 shares in NRS, corresponding to 35.97 per cent of the total number of shares.

The NRS board has reviewed the offer together with its financial adviser Arctic Securities, the board recommended on Monday afternoon that shareholders with a long-term view of their investments do not accept the offer.

“The Board’s conclusion is supported by its view of NRS ‘ability to generate competitive returns in the future, also taking into account the phasing out of triploid salmon production, and growth projects in connection with the company’s new smolt plant, the Arctic Offshore Farming concept and the successful activities in Iceland. through Arctic Fish,” it is stated in a statement from the board.

The recommendation is unanimous.

Strategic opportunities
“Given the process the board has initiated to evaluate strategic opportunities for NRS, the board in any case recommends not accepting the offer until the very end of the offer period.”

The offer runs until 16 August.

The board members who have been involved in making this statement, as well as NRS’ CEO Charles Høstlund, do not intend to sell their shares during the offer.

Chairman of the board and largest shareholder, Helge Gåsø, has declared himself incompetent in the proceedings of the NRS board.


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