NORWAY - The EU Commission has now approved the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Morpol by salmon farming giant Marine Harvest, marking a milestone for the company.
"Marine Harvest is very pleased to announce that Morpol now will become part of the Marine Harvest Group," said Marine Harvest CEO, Alf-Helge Aarskog.
"Morpol offers complimentary benefits to today's Marine Harvest. Morpol's activities and large range of high quality products fit very well with Marine Harvest's current processing business as well as our downstream strategy. Morpol will give our innovation and product development a strong boost. Together we can develop even more innovative and delicious seafood products for the consumer market," continued Mr Aarskog.
The acquisition also marks an important step forward in Marine Harvest's aim of becoming a fully integrated protein company.
"The purchase of Morpol is in line with Marine Harvest's strategy of forming an innovative and integrated protein group. Our established position within salmon farming will be further complemented and our presence within value added processing activities will take a giant leap. The Board believes that this will provide significant operational benefits, as well as boosting and stabilizing the long term earnings power of the group," said Marine Harvest Chairman Ole-Eirik Lerøy.
The transaction complements existing production in Scotland with an increased production capacity of 6000 tonnes. Marine Harvest will also be able to expand its operations across Norway due to Morpol's presence in Troms County.
As part of the acquisition terms, Marine Harvest will sell Morpol's salmon farming operations in Shetland (11,000 tonnes) and Orkney (7000 tonnes). In addition, the company will sell freshwater capacity and processing plants in the same areas.
Morpol CEO, John-Paul McGinley, announced his support of the acquisition stating: "We are very excited about Morpol joining the Marine Harvest Group. This is the start of the next big phase of the development of Morpol."
After the transaction, Marine Harvest estimates to have 10,200 employees and a production volume for 2014 of over 400,000 tonnes.
Morpol will remain listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange for the time being under the ticker code MORPOL. With the approval of the transaction, Marine Harvest can exercise normal shareholder rights relating to its 87.1 per cent ownership in Morpol ASA.