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Pan Fish seeks to own up to 25 per cent of Norwegian licensed biomass


20.03.2006, Pan Fish ASA has applied today to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs for 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 on 6 March with Geveran Trading on acquiring all the shares in Marine Harvest NV. This acquisition, which is due for closure on 28 March, will transfer the ownership and headquarters of the two former Norwegian fish farming companies Hydro Seafood and Stolt Sea Farm back to Norway. Acquiring Marine Harvest means that Pan Fish controls about 19.21 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. Its application is limited upwards to 25 per cent.

Marine Harvest is the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon and trout, with about 17 per cent of total production on a global basis. Pan Fish ranks as the fourth largest producer of farmed salmon with some four per cent of total world production. Through its Norwegian subsidiaries, Marine Harvest owns 106 licences to farm salmon and trout in the sea, whilst Pan Fish Norway and its subsidiaries hold 57 between them.

The two companies have a very strong position in Norway’s coastal regions. Pan Fish Norway has just under 300 employees, while Marine Harvest in Norway has just over 600. With offices in Ålesund and Bergen respectively, the two companies jointly possess unique, valuable expertise and experience on pursuing fish farming in Norway. Pan Fish ASA’s head office, which will be the centre for the new company, is in Stavanger.

Pan Fish takes the view that merging Pan Fish and Marine Harvest will not only strengthen the combined company but also the whole fish farming industry. This sector has witnessed a huge concentration of power in recent years among both buyers and suppliers. Distributors have merged, and so have feed manufacturers. No single Norwegian fish farming company has the financial and operational muscle to serve as a leading, balancing driving force for the industry against the powerful forces upstream and downstream in the value chain, which weakens the industry’s overall competitiveness. Through the acquisition of Marine Harvest, Pan Fish wants to establish a leading international locomotive for the industry in Norway.

The company expects the trend towards international consolidation in the seafood sector to strengthen among suppliers, producers and processors. Having the leading international fish farmer rooted in Norway is therefore important for Pan Fish and the rest of the Norwegian industry. This has been made possible by the merger between Pan Fish and Marine Harvest, two companies which complement each other in a number of areas. The new company will increase its effort within marketing, product development and processing. In the application Pan Fish underlines its commitment to create a close corporation with Norwegian research and authorities to create a long-term positive development when it comes to the industry development, value creation and impact on the job creation. Having the leading fish farming company in Norway will strengthen the total industry competence. Pan Fish will aim to create a close dialogue with the industry on the future development.

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 south and west Norwegian coasts. Internationally, they are two unique and very competent fish farming companies which, by building further on the best aspects of their corporate cultures, will construct a solid and well-run global business. The overall challenge for the companies and their board of directors will therefore be to get the best out of each company and build the new merged company on that basis - both in Norway and internationally. The integration process will be characterised by openness and dialogue both within and between the companies.


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