Seafood company Síldarvinnslan has bought a 50% share in the seafood sales company Ice Fresh Seafood for ISK 4.7 billion from Samherji. Samherji’s CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson had to step down from the board of Síldarvinnslan when the purchase was decided. RÚV reported first.
Samherji has run the company Ice Fresh Seafood, which sells fish abroad through a sales network covering over 60 countries. As soon as Síldarvinnslan acquires half of the company, a certain reshuffling of the other foreign sales companies of Samherji Group and Síldarvinnslan will be carried out, transferring them partially or completely to Ice Fresh Seafood.
Purchase price considerably above book equity
Síldarvinnslan’s announcement of the purchase states that the purchase price in the transaction is considerably higher than the Ice Fresh Seafood’s equity. Síldarvinnslan is paying ISK 4.7 billion for half of Ice Fresh Seafood and the value of the company in the transaction is 76% higher than the company’s book value of equity at the end of last year. It states, however, that there are decades of knowledge and business relationships behind IFS in the main markets for Icelandic seafood. According to the CEO of Síldarvinnslan, investing in the sales company strengthens sales and marketing, allowing Síldarvinnslan to get further in the value chain.
Samherji owns over 30% of Síldarvinnslan and when its board decided to buy, Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, had to step down from the board. It is stated in the announcement that he was not involved in decision-making regarding the purchase.
A pillar of Iceland’s economy
The Icelandic seafood industry is one of the country’s key industries, employing around 7,500 people or approximately 3.9% of the workforce. The seafood industry contributes around 8% directly to Iceland’s GDP, but its indirect contributions are much greater. Marine products account for 43% of the value of Iceland’s exported goods. Another large purchase in the Icelandic seafood industry was announced yesterday when Brim purchased 10.83% of Iceland Seafood International.
Just four companies hold around 60% of Iceland’s fishing quota: Samherji, Brim, KS, and Ísfélagið.