Bain Capital Sees Opportunity In Hungry Norwegian Salmon

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Fishing is basically one of two reasons that Norway is not a member of the EU. This may have indicated to Bain Capital that getting into the Norwegian fish-feed business could be a good idea.

A pair of private-equity firms jumped into a battle for dominance of Norway's fish industry, making a 6.2 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.08 billion) offer for the fish-feed unit of Cermaq ASA after it rejected advances from Norway rival Marine Harvest ASA.

The latest offer, from Stockholm-based Altor and U.S.-based Bain Capital LLC, came as shares of Norwegian salmon fish farmers have reeled in big gains. Shares of Marine Harvest, the world's largest producer of farmed salmon, have gained 57% over the past 12 months amid rising global demand and concerns about the potential for disease outbreaks in Chile, one of the world's largest salmon suppliers….

Cermaq rejected Marine Harvest's bids as too low. But Cermaq welcomed the offer from Altor and Bain Capital, saying it was "sufficiently interesting" to explore selling the unit. The company said it aimed for a deal to be completed by mid-July, subject to shareholder approval.

Accepting the offer from Altor and Bain Capital would allow Cermaq to reduce debt and pave the way for an extraordinary dividend to shareholders of four billion kroner to five billion kroner, or 43 kroner to 54 kroner a share.

Bain Capital Bids for Fish-Feed Unit of Norway's Cermaq [WSJ]

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