Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim told IntraFish Monday that the company's offer for all the shares in aquaculture giant NTS is the result of an invitation by a majority of NTS shareholders.
"It's a friendly, industrial push on Mowi's part," said Vindheim. "We hope it can be relevant for shareholders and employees. NTS fits in very well with Mowi strategically. We want to develop the company together."
There has been a lot of drama around NTS lately, with a rebel group of shareholders making a bid to takeover the company.
A further twist at NTS's extraordinary general meeting Friday saw the new chairman, proposed by the group of rebels, Hans Martin Storo, choose instead to quit the rebellion, voting against the proposal and stepping into an regular position on the board.
Vindheim did not want to comment on which side of the conflict invited Mowi's bid.
Vindheim said Mowi has no plans to cull any part of NTS, specifically in relation to Norway Royal Salmon (NRS), in which NTS recently bought more than two-thirds of the shares in an attempt to merge it with its own salmon farming activities, Salmonor.
"As it appears in the stock exchange announcement, we want to develop the company further, also with NRS. This is in no plan to slaughter any company," said Vindheim.
There is less certainty on what Mowi might do with NTS's wellboat company Froy.
"We have to get back to all the details, it is at an early stage," said Vindheim. "We are impressed with the Froy group. At the same time, Mowi sold its wellboat business, as it was not part of Mowi's core business. That is still the case today."
Gaso: 'It wasn't me'
NTS majority shareholder salmon millionaire Helge Gaso denies he is behind Mowi's bid.
"I register that Mowi has made a bid. Beyond that, I do not have any major comments. We will wait a few days before I say more about it," Gaso told IntraFish.
Both NTS and NRS shares rose as the Oslo Stock Exchange opened Monday morning, with NTS up 8 percent and NRS 6 percent.
NRS's shares had fallen 10 percent Friday on news of the failed board rebellion. NTS shares fell 1 percent.