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Salmon farming cages. (Photo: Cultivos Marinos)

Cermaq makes new attempt to grow in the Chilean market

Click on the flag for more information about Chile CHILE
Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 00:40 (GMT + 9)

The Norwegian group Cermaq ASA, owner of Mainstream Chile, is negotiating the purchase of the company Cultivos Marinos Chiloé, which would allow it to have more aquaculture concessions and increased presence in the salmon neighborhoods.

As reported by the newspaper La Tercera, this is the second attempt made by Cermaq to grow in the domestic market: in 2007 the firm tried to merge with AquaChile, but in vain.

This time, the Norwegian group intends to acquire Cultivos Marinos Chiloé, a company that in 2011 ranked fourteenth among exporters of the salmon industry, with shipments worth USD 95 million.

As to the export of trout, it ranked fourth, with 7 per cent of the market, and as to the shipments of Atlantic salmon, the firm ranked twelfth, with 2 per cent of the market share.

Meanwhile, Mainstream ranked second among exporters in the sector, with sales of USD 247 million.

According to the information sent on 13 July at the Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS) by Ricardo Purcell, the general manager of the salmon firm, "the owners of the shares of Cultivos Marinos Chiloé are having preliminary talks with Cermaq."

The owners of the company intend to "sell all the shares of Cultivos Marinos Chiloé, since up-to-date there have been a number of basic elements that are being discussed and have not been yet resolved," added Purcell.

This year, Cultivos Marinos Chiloé tried its openness in the Santiago Stock Exchange for the third time in order to increase its output until reaching more than 70,000 tonnes in the medium term, said José López, president of the salmon firm.

After being able to obtain its position "as one of the main global companies," the crisis that was unleashed in 2007 due to the fact that the spread of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus had a strong impact on the firm.

The figures show the serious situation faced by the Chilean salmon industry: in 2006, the profits of Cultivos Marinos Chiloé were USD 10 million while losses in 2007 totalled USD 4.7 million and in 2008 the deficit amounted to USD 58 million.

However, the company achieved a production rebound in 2010, when it managed to make profits for USD 8.7 million. And last year the firm reported profits of USD 8.5 million.

But now, the low salmon prices recorded complicate the situation of the industry and led Cultivos Marinos Chiloé management to decide to postpone the opening of the company on the Santiago Stock Exchange.

The company was planning to invest USD 110 million between 2012 and 2015 and to build three new fish farms, two in Region X and one in the Region XII. The intention was to allocate more than 90 per cent of the proceeds from the stock market to this plan.

Related articles:

- Mainstream considers purchasing Cultivos Marinos Chiloé
- Low prices force salmon firm to delay IPO

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 


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