Morpol founder Jerzy Malek buys out Codfarmers

February 19, 2014, 9:35 am

Jerzy Malek, the founder and former long-time CEO of Morpol, has acquired close to 100% of shares in the Norwegian cod producer Codfarmers.

The news came out of a forum on the Norwegian financial news website Hegnar Online, where users reported that their shares had been acquired by Friendmall, a Cyprus holding owned by Malek.

Malek confirmed the news to Undercurrent News and said he had first bought more than 90% in Codfarmers "two to three months ago". The price, he said vaguely, was "maybe" around NOK 30 million (€3.6m/$4.9m). Malek then acquired a small percentage recently, taking his ownership close to 100%.

On the forum on Hegnar Online, one user said on Feb. 13 that he sold his shares for NOK 0.12137 per share to Friendmall.

Asked about its plans for Codfarmers, Malek remained vague. "I have no plans. Maybe I'll have plans. It's suitable for many things." The reason for the purchase he said, was opportunistic. "It was for sale. Nobody wanted to buy it so I bought it."

After years of struggling financially, Codfarmers delisted from the Oslo stock exchange last year, with its last day on April 22. At the time its shares closed at NOK 0.390, according to Bloomberg.

Shortly before the delisting, Codfarmers had unveiled a net loss of NOK 227 million ($40m) for  2012, while saying it had to cancel all marketing activities for its branded range, Strom.

Having founded Morpol in 1996, and led the Polish salmon processor since then, Malek sold off his 48.5% stake in the company to Marine Harvest in December 2012. At the same time, Malek stepped down as CEO of Morpol.

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