Marine Harvest ASA’s plan to offer $1.7 billion for Cermaq ASA (CEQ), a Norwegian fish-food maker, was today endorsed by investors as Cermaq’s annual meeting rejected a proposed rights issue to fund its purchase of Copeinca ASA. (COP)
Cermaq shareholders voted against the equity issue, independent lawyer Sverre Tysland, who was leading the meeting, said in Oslo today. Marine Harvest, the biggest salmon farmer, had said it wouldn’t proceed with its offer for Cermaq if the share issue was approved.
Marine Harvest, controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, is seeking to buy Cermaq, which operates salmon farms in Chile, Canada and Norway as well as making feed, to expand into fish food as rising raw material prices boost costs.
Cermaq has dismissed the offer of 105 kroner ($17.98) a share, including a 1 kroner dividend, as “inadequate.” The company instead said it would pursue its own purchase of Copeinca, which makes fish meal and oil from anchovy caught off the coast of Peru.
Cermaq, based in Oslo, has said it will seek alternative financing for its acquisition of Copeinca if shareholders rejected the planned equity issue.
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