Worst case scenario of US salmon lawsuit will be limited, says investment bank

Aslak Berge

Lack of fear over negative effects.

Last week, SalmonBusiness reported that a Miami judge has ruled that the antitrust lawsuit surrounding the alleged price collusion between several Norwegian salmon companies can be brought up for consideration in a Miami court.

Central to the evidence, or rather a series of circumstantial evidence, is a meeting over a dinner between Lerøy and SalMar bosses Gustav Witzøe and Henning Beltestad. The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued these “conversations reflect these defendants’ understanding of the importance of pricing above NASDAQ prices and their open-book approach to dealing with one another to ensure pricing conformed to prices reported by the NASDAQ salmon index.”

The maximum fine in the EU is ten per-cent of the group’s revenue and the maximum fine in the United States is 20 per-cent of the value of the trade, or USD 100 million, according to DNB Markets.

“Assuming a fine of ten per-cent of us sales and 20 per-cent of US sales to SalMar, we arrive at a negative value of NOK 10 per share, or two per-cent of the market value as of March 25,” DNB analyst Alexander Aukner wrote in a financial bulletin, according to TDN Direkt.


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