Norway Open to Several Solutions for Cermaq, Government Says

Norway is open to several solutions for fish-food maker Cermaq ASA (CEQ) as the government announced it will seek permission from parliament to either increase or sell its stake in the company.

The government will ask parliament for authorization to allow it to either raise its 43.5 percent stake to as high as 65 percent, or sell all of its shares, the Norwegian Trade and Industry Ministry said today in a statement.

“The government is open to different solutions and have the intention of working toward an industrial solution that safeguards the value of Cermaq,” Trade and Industry Minister Trond Giske said.

Marine Harvest ASA (MHG), the world’s largest salmon farmer, offered 8.6 shares and 53.25 kroner in cash for each Cermaq share on May 31. Oslo-based Marine Harvest, which had previously proposed 105 kroner a share including a 1-krone dividend on April 30, is seeking to expand its fish-feed business and add Cermaq’s salmon farms in Chile, Canada and Norway.

Cermaq said in a statement today that Marine Harvest’s offer, valued on June 7 at about 105 kroner a share, doesn’t reflect the company’s underlying value and that it’s in talks with potential bidders for its assets. Possible sales include Cermaq’s EWOS fish-feed and nutrition unit, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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