Scottish salmon giant swallowed by Faroe firm for more than £500m

Edinburgh-headquartered SSC is one of Scotland's largest food producers. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Edinburgh-headquartered SSC is one of Scotland's largest food producers. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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The Scottish Salmon Company, one of Scotland’s biggest food producers, is to be sold to a fish farming company in the Faroe Islands in a £500 million-plus deal.

Faroese firm Bakkafrost has agreed to acquire Northern Link’s 68.6 per cent stake of shares in the salmon producer, triggering a mandatory takeover of the entire business. The planned transaction values SSC, which is Edinburgh-headquartered but listed on the Oslo stock exchange, at £517m.

SSC operates some 60 sites across the west coast of Scotland and Hebrides and employs more than 600 people.

Craig Anderson, chief executive of SSC, said: “The board of SSC considers this offer to be in the best interest of all shareholders as it realises the material value that has been created after nine successive quarters of growth.

“The board initiated the independent strategic review in order to assess options to realise value and deliver future growth from the business. The review has been successful in terms of the volume and quality of the companies that have participated in the process, and has resulted in this acquisition to create a major global salmon farming business.”

He added: “I’m proud of the way the SSC team has conducted itself under my tenure, and they have all contributed to building a highly successful business that has ultimately become a compelling investment opportunity for Bakkafrost.

“The management team will now work closely with the new owners of the business to understand its strategic vision and implications for all SSC stakeholders.”

Regin Jacobsen, who has been the chief executive of Bakkafrost for the past 30 years, said: “Bakkafrost’s journey has been characterised by delivering industry leading growth and profitability combined with a focus on shareholder value creation.

“The Scottish Salmon Company represents an attractive acquisition at this juncture providing exposure to the attractive and premium Scottish salmon farming region with potential for synergies and transfer of best practices.

“The entire Bakkafrost team is looking forward to working with the SSC management team to continue to enhance performance of the business and drive value in the years ahead.”

Last month, SSC posted sales of £111.8m in the six months to 30 June. It pointed to surging harvest volumes, which rose by 17 per cent, and reiterated its full-year volume guidance of 33,000 tonnes, up from 30,000 in 2018.

This came against a backdrop of rising operating costs, which climbed from £60.7m to £80.6m, while performance in the second quarter was knocked by “biological and environmental challenges”.