He’s Gustav Witzøe’s money minder: – Essential we avoid major gaffes

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It hasn’t escaped Kverva’s notice that pricing of topical candidates for acquisition has risen in recent years.

“We’re directing our energy toward sectors we are already well familiar with,” Helge Moen told Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

The 45-year old heads SalMar founder Gustav Witzøe’s investment company Kverva, whose bottom line last year showed around EUR 100 million. Kverva’s core investment area is seafood.

“It goes in fits and starts. At the moment, it’s less motivating to invest in companies, and that is partly due to pricing. After a long upturn for seafood, pricing of companies has naturally increased – in both aquaculture and associated sectors”, he said.

The company’s principal asset is the controlling shareholding in listed salmon farmer SalMar. Fat cash dividends from here provide the elbow room for making further investments.

“We have several billion NOK available if the right opportunities turn up”, Moen said.

“When we’re calculating possible investments, we use a traditional ‘slide rule’. That is to say we are conservative and do not finance acquisitions with a high debt ratio”.

Risk management is a catchword for the investment team at Trondheim based Kverva.

“We spend a lot of time identifying opportunities. A good deal of our focus is on seafood, but the level of risk in that business is high. It’s essential that we avoid major gaffes”, Moen told DN.