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Salmon sale

Scottish Sea Farms in £164m deal for Shetland producer

Jim Gallagher

Jim Gallagher: ‘landmark step’

Scottish Sea Farms, the aquaculture business, has become Shetland’s largest salmon producer after acquiring Grieg seafood Hjaltland UK from Grieg Seafood ASA for £164m.

The deal will see more than 200 Grieg workers switch to the new Stirling-based owner which said the acquisition was a “strategic move” to help it meet the rising demand for premium quality Scottish-grown salmon.

It is co-owned 50/50 by Lerøy Seafood Group and SalMar ASA and has operations on Shetland and the Isle of Skye. It produced around 24,000 tonnes (HOG) of Atlantic salmon in 2020.

Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK operates 21 marine farms, a freshwater hatchery and a processing facility, harvesting approximately 16,000 tonnes (HOG) of Atlantic salmon in 2020.

The purchase price, which is on a cash and debt free basis, is expected to be financed with 100% cash consideration from Scottish Sea Farms and the transaction is anticipated to close within the last quarter of this year, subject to approval.

Scottish Sea Farms chief executive Jim Gallagher said: “As farmers, we are constantly striving to create the best growing conditions for our salmon.

“The purchase of Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK is a landmark step in our long-term strategy, giving us greater influence over several key biological factors including fish health, stocking regimes and sea lice management.

“We’re very much looking forward to pairing the skill and know-how of our existing farming and fish health teams with the local expertise within Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK, working as one to benefit fish welfare and boost survival.”

The transaction means that there are just two salmon farming companies left in Shetland, Scottish Sea Farms and Canada-owned Cooke Aquaculture.

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