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Marine Harvest Planning Quarterly Payout as Cermaq Bid Ends

Marine Harvest ASA, the world’s largest salmon producer, said it’s likely to bring back quarterly dividend payments after ending an attempt bid to buy Cermaq ASA, the biggest fish-feed maker.

The increased financial flexibility created by the sale of Cermaq shares, the termination of the transaction and strong salmon prices are “likely to lead to a reintroduction of a quarterly dividend” from the second quarter, the Oslo-based company said in a statement today.

Marine Harvest, controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, ended its approach for Cermaq on June 21 after failing to get the 33.4 percent stake it was seeking. The Norwegian government, which already owned 43.5 percent of the feed maker, has since increased its shareholding to 59.2 percent.

The Norwegian salmon producer, which has now sold all of its shares in Cermaq, will focus its resources on developing its greenfield feed capacity in Norway, expanding its farming operations at home and in Chile, and integrating smoked salmon producer Morpol ASA into its business, it said.

Shares in Marine Harvest gained as much as 1 percent and traded 0.7 percent higher at 5.9 kroner as of 10:30 a.m. in Oslo. That extends the stock’s gain to almost 60 percent during the last 12 months and gives the company a market value of 22.1 billion kroner ($3.6 billion.)

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