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Pan Fish Gets Permission To Buy Up 25% of Norwegian Fish-Farm Licenses

by the Fish Site Editor
05 May 2006, at 1:00am

NORWAY - Pan Fish ASA ("Pan Fish") has received written confirmation from the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs in which the company is granted permission to own up to 25 per cent of the national licensed biomass for farmed salmon and trout in the sea.

Pan Fish Gets Permission To Buy Up 25% of Norwegian Fish-Farm Licenses - NORWAY - Pan Fish ASA ("Pan Fish") has received written confirmation from the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs in which the company is granted permission to own up to 25 per cent of the national licensed biomass for farmed salmon and trout in the sea.

Pan Fish reached agreement in March 2006 on acquiring all the shares in Marine Harvest NV ("Marine Harvest"). This acquisition will transfer the ownership and headquarters of the two former Norwegian fish farming companies Hydro Seafood and Stolt Sea Farm back to Norway. In addition, Pan Fish has acquired a majority stake in Fjord Seafood. In total, this equals to 23.73 per cent of the national licensed biomass in Norway. Pursuant to regulation 2004-12-22-1800, the company is then legally bound to seek permission from the ministry to own this proportion.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs in its permission has listed four conditions:

  • Pan Fish FoU-activities shall have an annual growth of 5 per cent minimum.

  • The processing level for the companies' products shall be developed with the objective to further economic integration in Norwegian coastal areas. This entails increasing processing volumes in coastal areas by 10 per cent annually.

  • Pan Fish shall report to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs in accordance with the above mentioned conditions and on the development in its number of employees in Norway.

  • Pan Fish shall produce a registry of the company's indirect ownerships in licensed biomass for farmed salmon and trout in the sea

"We are pleased with the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs' speedy and effective consideration, not to mention that the Ministry shares our view on the merger of Pan Fish and Marine Harvest, at the same time giving us the opportunity to own Fjord Seafood. The conditions stated by the Ministry are in line with our ambitions" states Pan Fish CEO Atle Eide.

He continues "The Ministry's permission means in our view that one has realised that this merger represents a unique opportunity for establishing a Norwegian owned, leading international company in a fast growing global market, and at the same time strengthening Norwegian coastal areas. We regard this as a vote of confidence from the Ministry and the Norwegian government - a trust the company will work hard to prove worthy of."

Pan Fish and Marine Harvest complement each other in a number of areas. They will be able to benefit considerably from their mutual experience and expertise and their strong presence along the Norwegian coast. Also globally, the companies complement each other. In Norway, the new company will have close to 1,200 employees. Pan Fish going forward will be operated in accordance with a decentralised organisational model, and Pan Fish ASA's headquarter, as stated in the board's application to the Ministry, will be located in Stavanger, Norway.

Eide continues emphasising previous statements regarding the integration process.

When the process of developing and integrating the three companies start, emphasis will be put on exploiting the combined management, competence and resources in all three companies. This is not a traditional acquisition, but a merger of three unique seafood companies with individual strengths that will be preserved in the new group. Such a process will be demanding, but carried out in a good, open and close co-operation, it will form a strong foundation for a company with a leading global market position in the fast growing fish farming industry, says Atle Eide.

The integration process will not start until it has been cleared by competition authorities.

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