Icelandic equipment maker withdraws Morenot bid

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Icelandic equipment maker, Hampidjan, has pulled out of a EUR 100 million bid to acquire Norwegian net maker, Morenot, it has been learned.

Morenot has been a takeover target since last summer. Several bidders have had a crack, but the running favourite, Reykjavik-based Hampidjan, told shareholders last night it was out of the bidding.

Investor knot
Saga Securities is entrusted with the sale of Morenot, and it’s been a drawn-out process.

“They started by sending out teasers in June. Now it looks like it’s going to be a financial buyer,” a well-informed source told SalmonBusiness.

What’s Morenot worth?

“Eight hundred million kroner (EUR 83.6 million) to a billion (EUR 104 million) in debt and equity, enterprise value,” he said.

Many owners
“Morenot has many owners, and it’s taken a lot longer than one would have thought. It’s been a long, messy process,” the source said.

Meanwhile, significant finance-world interest persists in the segment.

“Many want exposure to the sector, and there are few platforms (to invest in) available,” he said.

“You had Steinsvik and Aqualine (bought by Kverva) — the Germans bought Optimar. At the same time, interest is weighed down because fishery is half of  Morenot’s turnover. Aquaculture is primarily the exposure sought by financial markets and private equity.

It is expected that the Morenot sales process will run its course by the end of March, the source said.