Acquisition expected soon: Investment bank sees two possible outcomes for NTS

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Investment bank Kepler Cheuvreux believes it is probable that salmon farmer NTS will be acquired in a relatively short time with SalMar being the most likely buyer.

The company has raised the price target to NOK 260 from the previous NOK 200 and repeats the buy recommendation in an update issued on Monday, writes TDN Direkt.

Kepler sees two possible scenarios: 1.) A company (Mowi or SalMar), buys the entire of NTS and later takes over the remaining shares in Norwegian Royal Salmon (NRS). Or,  2.) The NTS ‘board sells NRS directly to the highest bidder.

Regardless, Kepler believes a sale is very likely, and the price target is raised as a result of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) being reduced to seven per cent from eight percent – in line with Mowi and SalMar. They remove the SalmoNor merger from the estimates, which leads to a significant reduction in operating profit, but no significant change in earnings per share.

Kepler believes the first important trigger will be the NTS board meeting on Friday 18 February, and considers SalMar to be the most likely buyer.

So far, only one bid has been placed on NTS. It is from Mowi, at a price of NOK 110 per share. NTS is trading at 116 kroner just after lunch on Monday.