With SalMar and Leroy Seafood Group snapping up significant stakes in Norwegian salmon farmer Villa Organic, one or two analysts are starting to point to Norway Royal Salmon as a potential target for bigger players.
Norway Royal Salmon (NRS), like Villa, is located in the north of the country, the area which will be favored by upcoming new “green” aquaculture licenses.
And, perhaps more tempting still, while SalMar bought shares in Villa at an enterprise value per kilo (ev/kg) of NOK 48 ($8.4), and Leroy got its shares at an ev/kg NOK 52 ($9.1), Nordea currently rates NRS at NOK 45.
NRS is currently rated too cheaply, trading at its low ev/kg, Marius Gaard, an analyst with Carnegie, told Undercurrent News.
Geir Kristiansen, senior equity analyst at SpareBank 1 Markets, described NRS as a tempting target, not least for Marine Harvest, thanks to its low ev/kg.
All the reasons which made Villa a good buy for Leroy and Salmar – the benefits of being in the north, the salmon ‘super-profits’ which mean there is money available for investment – are present with NRS, with the added draw of being cheaper.
In its report of April 4 2013, Nordea had NRS at a ‘strong buy’ rating, with the share price at NOK 22.30.
One week later its shares are at NOK 25.30, continuing the upward trend the price has been following since the beginning of 2013, when shares were NOK 14.65. This week’s share price marks the highest it has been since the company listed on the Oslo stock exchange in March 2011.
NRS represents 30 salmon producing companies in total, holding 81 salmon production licenses, six smolt producers and one land-based arctic char license.
It is the majority shareholder in four fish farming companies holding a total of 25 fish licenses, and has minority stakes in six fish farming companies with a total of 16 fish licenses.