Fredriksen exit could put Mowi in play

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Won’t be short on enthusiasts if Fredriksen’s ownership is up for sale.

On Friday morning, it was announced that Mowi’s largest shareholder John Fredriksen wants to retire. He wants to transfer more responsibility and ownership to others.

“I’m looking for people who can take over,” Fredriksen told the shipping newspaper Tradewinds.

The billionaire does not want his twin daughters Cecilie and Kathrine to take control of their many business empires. Cecilie Fredriksen is on the board of Mowi.

13 years of ownership
John Fredriksen is open to chasing investors in the group that owns EUR 1.6 billion worth of Mowi shares. Fredriksen has been the owner of Mowi, formerly Marine Harvest, since 2006, when, via recently acquired Pan Fish, he bought and brought Marine Harvest back to Norway from the Dutch Nutreco.

SalmonBusiness contacted Mowi’s headquarters on Friday morning with questions about the Tradewinds story being interpreted as Fredriksen actively seeking to sell shares in the salmon giant, which is undisputedly the Fredriksen Group’s most important and valuable asset.

So far, Mowi has not answered our inquiries.

Stakeholders
Mowi, which has a market cap at EUR 11.5 billion, is among the most traded companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange, has a lot of stakeholders.

SalmonBusiness is aware that several independent Asian asset managers have for several rounds presented bids for Fredriksen’s shareholding in Mowi. So far, the bids have not been considered attractive enough. Exactly this may change as Fredriksen now appears to be in exit mode.

Mowi shares fell by a staggering percentage at lunchtime on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Friday. Adjusted for a dividend of NOK 2.60 per share, the share price still rises somewhat.

This is precisely the many and bold dividends the Fredriksen Group has become both known and popular for, not least in the US financial market.

Now this may be nearing an end.