Founders buy SalmonBusiness and iLaks

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Octavian Forlag takes over all Schibsted’s shares in the online news service.

The media group Schibsted, via its subsidiary Bergens Tidende, has been a major shareholder in both iLaks and SalmonBusiness since the spring of 2014.

The ownership has been linked to the Sysla collaboration, which has now become part of the investment included in E24. The share block now sold makes up 34 per cent of iLaks and SalmonBusiness.

The buyer, Aslak Berge and Trine Forsland’s family company, Octavian Forlag, will now own 100 per cent of the news service.

Corona pandemic
The transaction is conducted during a period when most newspaper’s ad sales are negatively impacted by the ongoing corona pandemic.

SalmonBusiness, which is solely funded by ads, has also noticed this.

“Of course, we also notice a corona effect on sales, admits Aslak Berge, editor of SalmonBusiness and iLaks.

“The order book is thinner than at the same time last year, and we are also experiencing increased uncertainty about accounts receivable. That said, we have a robust cost structure and can withstand some beating.”

Niche news
“iLaks and SalmonBusiness is a B2B news service within a clearly defined niche with bright prospects. We rig the news service to stay here – even during demanding periods,” he adds.

The parties do not want to disclose the purchase price for the shares.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Schibsted, and especially Bergens Tidende, for a good collaboration and community over six years. Now, SalmonBusiness and iLaks continues on its own feet, and I’m sure we will do in an excellent way,” says Berge.

iLaks is by far the most read online news service for the Norwegian aquaculture industry.

In total, the two news sites have 150-200,000 unique users a month.

“iLaks is an important niche and business newspaper for the industry, with thorough analysis. No one is more passionate about iLaks than Aslak and Trine, and we believe sales are a good fit for the company’s continued growth. We thank you for the cooperation, and wish them the best of luck,” says Mari-Marthe Aamold, CEO of Bergens Tidende and Stavanger Aftenblad.