Norwegian harvesting and processing group Nergaard said Monday it plans on merging with salmon farming and processing group Norsk Sjomat and listing the group on the Oslo Stock Exchange, creating a new diversified seafood giant.

The new firm, Norsk Sjomat, will operate five trawlers, hold two salmon farming licenses and processing facilities across Norway.

"We're creating a new force in the Norwegian seafood industry," Nergaard CEO Tommy Torvanger said in a statement announcing the deal.

As part of the deal, Icelandic seafood giant Samherji, which owns 39.9 percent of Nergaard, will sell down its shares, giving the group majority ownership as required by law.

The group will make a final decision on the IPO in the fourth quarter.

Norsk Sjomat, which becomes the group's parent company, already holds 43.5 percent of Nergaard.

The move creates a fully integrated seafood group with operations throughout the value chain; including whitefish harvesting, procurement of pelagic fish and salmon farming in Norwegian waters, processing and supply of value-added products to end consumers on a global scale.

The group posted combined annual sales in 2019 of NOK 3.7 billion (€348 million/$411 million), 20 percent higher than for the previous twelve months.

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