Scottish Seafarms takes over Grieg Seafood Hjaltland in £164m deal

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Scottish Sea Farms has Tuesday 29 June signed a Share Purchase Agreement to acquire 100 per-cent of the shares in Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK from Grieg Seafood for the purchase price of GBP 164 million.

The acquisition is a strategic move by Scottish Sea Farms – which is co-owned 50/50 by Lerøy Seafood Group and SalMar – to deliver optimal biological performance and help meet rising demand for Scottish-grown salmon.

With operations on Shetland and the Isle of Skye, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK currently operates 21 marine farms, a freshwater hatchery and a processing facility, harvesting approximately 16,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon in 2020.

Read also: The company was founded by a German processor. But for the past 20 years, Hjaltland has not found a proper home

This complements the geography and nature of Scottish Sea Farms’ own operations which are located across mainland Scotland, Shetland and Orkney and produced approximately 24,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon in 2020.

Commenting on the acquisition, Scottish Sea Farms CEO Jim Gallagher said:

“As farmers, we are constantly striving to create the best growing conditions for our salmon. The purchase of Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK is a landmark step in our long-term strategy, giving us greater influence over several key biological factors including fish health, stocking regimes and sea lice management.

“We’re very much looking forward to pairing the skill and know-how of our existing farming and fish health teams with the local expertise within Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK, working as one to benefit fish welfare and boost survival. This, in turn, will ensure a more secure and stable supply of salmon for our discerning customers the world over, helping satisfy the insatiable demand for this highly nutritious, low carbon food.”

Commercial aquacutural photography for Scottish Sea Farms, Shetland.

Commenting on the transaction, Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood, said:

“The discontinuation of our salmon farming operations in Shetland is part of our communicated strategy, and the disposal represents an important milestone in Grieg Seafood’s strategy to concentrate future farming activities in Norway and Canada, where we see the largest potential for profitable growth.

“Following a three-year long period of restructuring and operational improvement, Shetland is now showing good performance with sea lice levels at an all-time low, increasing survival and a high superior share. I am pleased to say that we hand over operations in good shape”, Kvame said.

“I want to sincerely thank all employees of Grieg Seafood Shetland for their impressive efforts, especially during the difficult times of the pandemic. I am confident that the Shetland business will be in good hands and that salmon farming will continue to create value for the local communities in Shetland for years to come,” he added.

The purchase price, which is on a cash and debt free basis, is expected to be financed with 100 per-cent cash consideration from Scottish Sea Farms and the transaction is anticipated to close within Q4 2021, subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities and customary closing conditions.