Lansdowne Partners Ltd., the second-biggest shareholder in Cermaq ASA (CEQ), said it will vote against the Norwegian fishfeed maker’s offer for Copeinca ASA (COP), a prerequisite for Marine Harvest ASA (MHG)’s takeover proposal for Cermaq.
Lansdowne, the biggest European hedge-fund firm focused on stock picking, didn’t say whether it would back Marine Harvest’s $1.7 billion bid for Cermaq. A spokeswoman for the London-based fund declined to comment further in an e-mail.
Lansdowne will “vote against the proposed acquisition of Copeinca by Cermaq” at the May 21 annual general meeting, the fund said in an e-mail dated May 10. “This decision reflects our belief that the potential benefits of fish-farming consolidation are sufficiently high to warrant full consideration by all participants.”
Marine Harvest is seeking to buy Cermaq to expand into fish-feed production as rising raw-material prices boost costs. The company last month offered 105 kroner ($18) a share including a 1 krone dividend, for Cermaq, which operates salmon farms in Chile, Canada and Norway and makes feed. The bid, which is conditional on Cermaq canceling a planned 3.5 billion-krone takeover of Lima-based Copeinca, is “inadequate,” Cermaq has said.
Lansdowne owns about 7.5 percent of Cermaq, making it the biggest holder of the Oslo-based company after the Norwegian state, according to Cermaq’s website. Lansdowne also owns about 3.47 percent of Oslo-based Marine Harvest, according to the Norwegian company’s website.
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