Salmon giant Mowi made an offer to acquire all of the shares in aquaculture services and salmon farming giant NTS.
The offer has been made at a price of NOK 110 (€10.91/$12.35) per share, valuing the company at around NOK 13.8 billion (€1.4 billion/$1.6 billion).
The offer price represents a premium of 18.3 percent over the closing price of the shares on Jan. 14 and a premium of 23.9 percent over the average volume weighted share price during the last 30 trading days up to and including Jan. 14.
"Mowi has followed the NTS Group for several years and is impressed by how the employees, management team and owners have developed the NTS Group into one of the leading producers of Atlantic salmon in Norway and Iceland," said Mowi in an announcement to the Oslo Stock Exchange Monday.
From a strong foundation in Central Norway, the NTS Group has grown into a fully integrated salmon farmer, producing 84,000 metric tons in Norway and Iceland. The NTS Group also holds 7.7 development licenses in Arctic Offshore Farming, and the aqua service company Froy.
“NTS's geographical footprint and competent organization fit unusually well with Mowi’s current operations and strategy," said Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim. "Together, we can maintain and create new jobs and further develop competence clusters along the Norwegian coastline, for the benefit of local communities."
SpareBank 1 Markets is acting as financial advisor to Mowi.
A January rollercoaster ride
The bid is the latest twist in a tumultuous chain of events.
The efforts by a group of NTS shareholders to take over the company and remove majority shareholder Helge Gaso from the board took a heavy blow at the company's extraordinary general meeting in Rorvik, Norway, on Friday.
The new chairman proposed by the group of rebels, Hans Martin Storo, chose instead to quit the rebellion, voting against the proposal and stepping into an ordinary position on the board in a surprise turn of events.
Salmon billionaire Gaso has in turn spearheaded an attempt to take over Norway Royal Salmon (NRS), in which NTS secured more than two-thirds of the shares, and merge it with the farming activities of NTS's, Salmonor.
The NRS deal going ahead is a prerequisite of Mowi's if it is to follow through on its takeover bid.
The news that that the uprising had not succeeded sent the price of Norway Royal Salmon shares into a slump on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Friday, plummeting more than 10 percent. NTS shares, on the other hand, were down a little more than one percent.
But the price rose again on news of Mowi's offer, which CEO Ivan Vindheim told IntraFish the result of an invitation by a majority of shareholders.