Måsøval signals potential merger between Ice Fish Farm and Laxar

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Today’s large transaction between NRS, NTS and Måsøval may result in a new merger in Iceland.

On Monday morning it was reported that Måsøval Group is buying 55.6 per-cent of the shares in Ice Fish Farm from Midt-Norsk Havbruk. At the same time, the company sold itself out of Norway Royal Salmon (NRS).

“Måsøval has been a shareholder in NRS since the foundation in 1992 and is grateful for the journey this has been for more than 25 years. NRS is today a very exciting aquaculture company with production both in Norway and in Iceland and with several interesting expansion projects. When Måsøval had the opportunity to buy the shareholding in Ice Fish Farm, however, it was an opportunity to strengthen our investment in Iceland that we could not say no to. Ice currently has licenses for the production of salmon totaling 20,800 tonnes on the eastern side of Iceland. The company has applied for an additional 16,800 tonnes of production licenses,” wrote Lars Måsøval in a press release.

Since 2016, Måsøval has been represented in Iceland through its subsidiary Laxar Fiskehldi.

“During this period we have had very good experiences and have great faith in the production of salmon in Iceland. We have had a good working relationship with our fellow shareholders, partners, employees and the Icelandic authorities,” he said.

“Ice and Laxar have their production in adjacent fjords and we continue to see good cooperation between the companies will ensure good biological production and risk management as well as good joint utilisation of resources such as capacity, service services and logistics. When the transaction is completed, it will be natural to look at what strategic opportunities lie in an even closer cooperation to optimise production and ensure a sustainable development of the aquaculture business on the eastern side of Iceland in cooperation with our Icelandic co-shareholders,” said Måsøval.

That could mean a possible merger between the two Icelandic farming companies. Ice Fish Farm was up 6.9 per-cent on the news in today’s trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Måsøval Group is a family company headquartered in Frøya, Central Norway. This year Måsøvals’ wholly-owned fish farming company, Måsøval Fish Farming, will harvest around 17,000 tonnes. This summer, the company purchased additional production capacity at auction as well as through the closed-containment “Aqua Semi” project, an additional four development licences.