Norwegian fish-farming and fish-feed producer Cermaq has attracted a new bid from an investor group that looks set to heat up a takeover battle for the company, in which the Norwegian state holds 43.5 percent of the stock.
Concerns over salmon farming don’t seem to be discouraging investors, with industry giant Marine Harvest already making a takeover bid for Cermaq and the state holding out for a higher price. Last week the state decided to open up to offers that could also split up the company to best realize its values.
Now investment firms Altor of Sweden and Bain Capital of the US (the latter founded by former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney) are offering NOK 6.2 billion for Cermaq’s feed division EWOS alone. “This is the result of a process where we have invited in several players to evaluate an offer for the company,” said Cermaq boss Jon Hindar.
Cermaq has advised its shareholders not to accept Marine Harvest’s bid of NOK 107 per share for the entire company, which now is trading at NOK 113 after the offer for EWOS was made. Analysts, many of whom were surprised that the EWOS bid was as high as it was, said it was “wide open” what would happen now regarding Cermaq’s ownership.