On Monday, Norwegian salmon farmer SalMar received clearance from the EU for its long-awaited acquisition of fellow Norwegian salmon farmer NTS.
At the same time, Mowi purchased a controlling interest in Iceland's Arctic Fish to satisfy the EU's antitrust request. NTS owned 50 percent of the Icelandic salmon company via Norwegian Royal Salmon (NRS).
"The outcome of the deal was as expected, and it means that SalMar now has great opportunities to farm throughout central Norway in the region of Trondelag," Nils Williksen, NTS shareholder and part owner of seafood company Williksen, told IntraFish.
Williksen was central to a grouping of shareholders that controlled more than 50 percent of NTS and wanted to sell the company to SalMar.
"We have waited and waited, and it is great that the deal is now in place so that the companies can fully focus on their operations," Williksen said.
While the news if good for him, for those who will be given shares in the transaction, the outcome may be less favorable.
The cash settlement in the transaction is fixed, however the share value in SalMar has roughly halved compared to when the companies entered into the agreement earlier this year.
In only a month, SalMar's shares on the Oslo stock exchange have lost 42 percent of their value, largely due to the Norwegian government's tax proposal for the sector.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, the Norwegian government proposed a 40 percent tax on the profits of companies using the country's natural resources, including salmon farming. The resource tax would lead to a massive bottom-line hit on the sector. The news sent shares plummeting, and has been met with vocal opposition from salmon farming companies.
Odd Reidar Oie, former chairman of NTS, will probably receive a settlement in cash and not shares, as all those who accepted the so-called voluntary offer will.
"I sat in a board meeting last night and have not yet familiarized myself with all the details but it looks like those who will get shares will get a lot less than what they could have," Oie said.
SalMar and NTS majority owners Gustav Witzoe and Helge Gaso have not returned requests for comment.