Mowi to buy controlling stake in Icelandic salmon farmer Arctic Fish

A group of Arctic Fish salmon net pens near mountains in Iceland.

Bergen, Norway-headquartered Mowi has entered a share purchase agreement to acquire 51.28 percent of the shares in Arctic Fish, one of the leading salmon farmers in Iceland.

According to a filing with Euronext Growth Oslo, the acquisition price is NOK 115 (USD 11.06, EUR 11.19) per share, amounting to NOK 1.88 billion (USD 180.8 million, EUR 182.9 million).

Situated in the country’s West Fjords region, Arctic Fish is listed on Euronext Growth Oslo. It operates 10 Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified sites in total, providing a maximum-allowed biomass of 27,100 metric tons (MT) and another 4,800 MT pending approval. The company expects to harvest 10,600 gross-weight tons in 2022.

"The Icelandic salmon farming industry is set for extensive development and growth in the coming years and we take great pleasure in this opportunity to play a part. Icelandic waters provide excellent growth and living conditions for the salmon,” Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim said.

The filing stated that Mowi has followed Arctic Fish for several years and is impressed by how the employees, management team, and owners have developed Arctic Fish into one of the leading producers of Atlantic salmon in Iceland.

"Arctic Fish's geographical footprint and competent organization fit unusually well with Mowi's current operations and strategy. With Mowi on board, Arctic Fish and its other owners will be positioned for an attractive growth journey with Mowi's extensive toolbox and strong financial position on hand, to the benefit of local communities,” Vindheim said.

The transaction is subject to consent by the European Commission and certain other closing conditions.

The purchase of Arctic Fish comes just over a month after Mowi announced it was halting planned investments in its Norway operations following a proposal by the Norwegian government to hike the resource tax on aquaculture operations by 40 percent. Mowi is the largest producer of farm-raised salmon in the world with 466,000 GWT harvested in 2021 in the six farming countries of Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Faroes, Canada, and Chile.

It achieved a company-wide salmon harvest of 134,000 MT in the third quarter of 2022, representing a volume increase of 17,000 MT compared with the corresponding period of 2021 and 2,000 MT more than its previous guidance for the period.

Photo courtesy of Arctic Fish


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