Their values are going opposite ways.
One September day in 1969, the board of Norsk Hydro, one of the largest aluminium companies in the world, made its preliminary steps into the seafood business with its fish-farming subsidiary, MOWI. The venue at was the business premises of Banque de Paris et des Pay-Bas, close to the Opera in Paris.
Hydro was dominated by French ownership interests.
The industrial giant had officially entered into something that back then seemed quite exotic, salmon farming.
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MOWI was given a starting capital of EUR 0.2 million and the money was used to establish farming operations at Sotra, near Bergen on Norway’s western coast.
Just two years later, MOWI was able to deliver top quality salmon and the goods soon found their way to the finest restaurants in Paris.
The company would later change its name to Hydro Seafood, a company that would dominate Norwegian fish farming landscape for three decades until it was sold in 2000.
That buyer was Dutch-owned Marine Harvest, who in turn sold the fish farming business to ship owner magnate, John Fredriksen in 2006.
Now, in the wake of Norsk Hydro’s operating problems in Brazil (the company has recently had to ‘temporarily’ halt operations at refinery due to an environmental dispute) and boosted by salmon shares on the stock market, Marine Harvest has now overtaken Norsk Hydro in terms of market value.
This Thursday morning, Norsk Hydro had a market value of EUR 9.5 billion, compared to Marine Harvest’s EUR 10.1 billion.
Marine Harvest is Norway’s sixth largest listed company.