Norway Royal Salmon and SalMar last night finally sealed their merger, creating the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon farming business.

The deal was agreed following an extraordinary general meeting of NRS, but in effect it is SalMar which is the dominant partner. SalMar will also be acquiring the wider integrated aquaculture business NTS – previously the parent company of NRS – which is waiting to be finalised.

A SalMar statement said: “Reference is made to the stock exchange announcement 30 May 2022 regarding SalMar ASA and Norway Royal Salmon ASA having entered into a merger plan for the merger between SalMar as acquiring entity and NRS as the transferring entity.

“An extraordinary general meeting of SalMar was held today on 30 June 2022. The extraordinary general meeting approved all items on the agenda, including the merger plan for the Merger and the share capital increase in connection with the Merger.

A number of key NRS investors are continuing to criticise the move, claiming the price SalMar is paying is too low, which means minority shareholders will lose out.

The move is also likely to have a significant impact on Iceland’s fish farming sector. SalMar owns Arnarlax while NRS is the owner of Arctic Fish. It is reasonable to expect  some consolidation between the two following the merger.

The current NRS salmon maximum allowable biomass (MAB) is 36,085 tonnes in Norway and 21,800 tonnes and 5,300 tonnes for trout in Iceland.

The deal means that, at the stroke of a pen, SalMar has jumped from fourth to the second largest salmon company (after Mowi), replacing Mitsubishi-owned Cermaq in that slot.

It will have a total harvest volume of almost 280,000 tonnes against Cermaq’s figure of 223,400 tonnes.

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