GBL subsidiary Owen Capital has used the first days of January to strengthen its ownership of Mowi. Only John Fredriksen and Norway’s National Pension Fund own more of the salmon giant.
It was at the end of November that it became known that Owen Capital, wholly owned by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), narrowly passed the flagging limit for five per-cent ownership and became the third-largest shareholder in Mowi. GBL is a Belgian holding company, listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange, controlled by Gérald Frère, Ségolène Gallienne and the Canadian The Desmarais Family Residuary Trust.
Over a million
Over the past month and a half, GBL, hidden behind a client account in UBS Switzerland, has stockpiled over a million Mowi shares. It holds a position of 5.74 per-cent of Mowi, according to a daily shareholder overview in Infront.
“In a world of population growth, growing middle class and increased need for protein-containing food, there are few or no alternatives better than salmon. Therefore Mowi is an interesting investment,” IR and communications director Sophie Gallaire of GBL has previously stated to SalmonBusiness.
GBL’s best-known investment is the largest ownership post in Adidas. In the past, the company has also been big holders in French oil company Total and Wall Street bank Drexel Burnham Lambert.
Steel and bank
The billion-dollar fund’s capital is built on banking and steel production. According to Forbes, the Fréré family owned much of the steel industry in Charleroi, southern Belgium. GBL’s market capitalisation is EUR 13 billion.
According to Mowi Chairman Ole-Eirik Lerøy, GBL has long had a close dialogue with Mowi’s largest owner, John Fredriksen.