Marine Harvest Plunges After Fredriksen Reduces Stake

Marine Harvest ASA tumbled in Oslo trading after its largest shareholder cut its stake in the world’s largest salmon farmer to about 23 percent.

Marine Harvest fell as much as 11 percent to 5.74 kroner in Oslo trading and was down 8.2 percent at 5.91 kroner as of 10:33 a.m. local time. The stock has gained 40 percent this year, after jumping fourfold last year.

Geveran Trading Co. Ltd., indirectly controlled by trusts established by billionaire John Fredriksen for the benefit of his family, sold 250 million shares at 6.05 kroner apiece, raising 1.5 billion kroner ($170 million). Geveran, which held about 30 percent before the transaction, said it intends to remain a long-term investor and also holds total-return swap agreements with a net exposure to 70 million shares.

“This sale of shares is probably profit taking,” Daumantas Bloznelis, an analyst at Terra Markets AS who rates the company a “buy” said by phone. “This only affected the sentiment, so that the share price now moves down, but fundamentally the situation has not changed and we are still positive toward Marine Harvest.”

Geveran “intends to redeploy the proceeds from the sale to new investment opportunities,” according to a statement issued by Goldman Sachs International yesterday. “Geveran intends to continue to be a long-term investor of Marine Harvest.”

The company has agreed not to sell any of its remaining holding for a period of 180 days.

The sale was managed by Goldman and ABG Sundal Collier Holding ASA.

Marine Harvest spokesman Joergen Christiansen declined to comment on the sale. “This is a question for the owner to answer,” he said in an e-mail. Tor Olav Troeim, who works for Fredriksen and is an alternate director in Marine Harvest, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meera Bhatia in Oslo at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amanda Jordan at ajordan11@bloomberg.net

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