Are Chinese buyers coming for Norwegian salmon farmers next?

It is not surprising to see Chinese companies looking for increased exposure to aquaculture, and in fact there will be more to come, analysts tell IntraFish.

Seafood analysts would not be surprised if Chinese companies started acquiring seafood assets in Norway too, following the news Monday that China's Joyvio Group, a subsidiary of the conglomerate Legend Holdings Corporation, wants to buy 100 percent of the shares of Chile's Australis Seafoods for $880 million (€771.7 million).

With a harvest volume of nearly 60,000 metric tons a year, Australis is Chile's fifth largest farmer, and Tore Tonseth, an analyst at Sparebank 1 Markets, is not at all surprised a Chinese company is looking to snap it up.

"It is not unexpected that Chinese companies are looking for increased exposure to aquaculture, it is very much as expected,” Tonseth told IntraFish.
“China is a large seafood nation with large production and very large consumption. This is certainly not the last we will see from China."

Tonseth said he can easily see Chinese buyers buying assets in Norway, just as companies from other Asian seafood nations such as Japan have done in the past.
“It might happen, just as we have seen with Japan’s Mitsubishi buying Cermaq,” said Tonseth. 

“But then we have to remember that just about all the big Norwegian salmon farmers are controlled by families, so it's probably not as easy to carry out these kinds of acquisitions in Norway -- but it is clear that Chinese companies have increased interest in aquaculture.”
Welcome valuation
The acquisition of Australis is good news for shareholders of Salmones Camanchaca, the only Chilean salmon company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, Martin Kaland, equity research analyst at ABG Sundal Collier told IntraFish.
Based on 2017 volumes of 58,000 metric tons, the bid implies a price of $17.30 (€15.10) per kilo in EV/kg.

The corresponding pricing on Salmones Camanchaca, with 2018 volumes, indicates an upside of 20 percent over its closing price Friday.

Salmones Camanchaca’s share price increased 2.1 percent on Monday morning. The share price of NOK 76 (€7.80/$9) pushed the company's market cap to more than NOK 5 billion (€515 million/$589.9 million). The company expects to harvest 48,500 metric tons of Atlantic salmon this year.

But the bid for Australis was not surprising, and an increased activity in acquisitions and mergers in Chile was expected following the AgroSuper/AquaChile transaction. 
The merged company is expected to produce around 200,000 salmon this year, making it Chile's largest and the world's second-largest salmon producer.
In Australis’ case, the fact that the buyers are foreign is not so unusual, said Kaland, noting Japanese investments by Mitsubishi (which owns Cermaq), and Mitsui (which holds a significant stake in Multiexport).

Kaland did not want to rule out Chinese buyers' interest in Norwegian companies, but at the same time, he noted there has been very little activity in M&A in Norway on the farming side, “so it is by no means certain that an agreement will be reached even if a good offer is made. "

Källa: Intrafish 22 nov 2018 >>
Etiketter: norge lax kina handel uppköp

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