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Business / Competition regulator assesses salmon company takeover

SCOTTISH Sea Farms’ planned purchase of Grieg Seafood’s Shetland company is being looked at by the UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority as part of the takeover process.

It was announced in late June that Scottish Sea Farms had entered into an agreement to buy Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK at a cost of £164 million.

Grieg Seafood Hjaltland operates 21 salmon farms in Shetland and Skye, a freshwater hatchery and a processing facility, and as of June it had more than 200 employees.

Grieg agreed to sell its Shetland interests to focus on fish farming activity in Norway and Canada.

The Competition and Markets Authority announced today (Wednesday) that it is “considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services”.

The authority is inviting comments from interested parties, with a 3 November deadline.

A spokesperson for Grieg Seafood said the assessment has been part of the process since the beginning.

A statement issued at the time said the transaction is “subject to certain customary closing conditions”.

“It is expected to close within Q4 2021, depending on processing time with relevant competition authorities,” it added.