Los Ángeles, Bio Bio, Chile-based salmon farmer Salmones Austral has received approval from the country’s financial market regulator, CMF, to register the company and its shares in the securities register – the last regulatory step needed before listing on the stock exchange and launching an initial public offering.
The proceeds from the future stock market listing will go towards funding Salmones Austral’s USD 100 million (EUR 92.6 million) 2020-2023 strategic investment plan, which looks to bolster growth and increase productive efficiencies, the company announced in a release. The plan’s main focus areas include the construction of a new fish farm, organic growth, and productive improvements in processing plants and farming centers.
Despite the go-ahead, the company will hold off from listing until market conditions improve, it said.
“We understand that the current situation worldwide is complex, given the emergence of the coronavirus, so listing on the stock market will take place once the conditions are in place to do so,” Salmones Austral Vice President Christian Samsing said in a press release.
The move would make the company Chile’s fourth salmon firm to open to the stock market, after Camanchaca (traded both on the Santiago bourse and the Oslo Stock Exchange), Multiexport Foods, and Blumar. Another three national firms were previously traded on the stock market but decided to de-list: AquaChile, Australis Seafoods, and Invermar.
Salmones Austral is looking to raise USD 47.7 million (EUR 43.4 million) from the IPO by midyear, according to Latin Finance.
The company was created in 2013 after the merger of Trusal and Pacific Star. Today, it has annual production capacity of 80,000 metric tons (MT) and actual production of some 45,000 to 50,000 MT. Products are exported to more than 20 countries; with more than 1,400 workers operating in two process plants; and 20 freshwater and seawater farming centers in the regions of Maule, Bio Bío, La Araucanía, Los Lagos, and Aysén. Of its annual production, 63 percent corresponds to Atlantic salmon and the remaining to coho salmon.
Earlier this year, Salmones Austral’s subsidiary Trusal S.A. signed a joint venture agreement with fellow farmer Nova Austral for the production of salmon with three licenses on Skyring Sound in southern Chile’s Magallanes Region, with expectations to harvest 7,000 MT during 2021 and 12,000 MT in 2022. The joint venture will mark Salmones Austral’s first operations in the Magallanes Region in Chile's far south.