Chilean salmon deal on the cards

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A BIG South Amer­i­can salmon farm­ing deal could be on the hori­zon. The Chilean web­site Aqua.cl re­ports that Em­pre­sas AquaChile has made a $200 mil­lion plus of­fer to buy the salmon farm­ing arm of ri­val com­pany Frio­sur, which is fam­ily owned by three broth­ers. Frio­sur is also in the con­ven­tional fish­ing busi­ness where hake, hoki and gi­ant squid are among its prime catches. As for aqua­cul­ture, the com­pany har­vests Atlantic salmon on a year round ba­sis in the fjords of the Ayasen re­gion of Chile, where both its cul­ti­va­tion and pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions are based. Its prin­ci­pal mar­kets are the United States, Brazil and other parts of Latin Amer­ica. It pro­duces around 20,000 tonnes of salmon a year. Em­pre­sas AquaChile, with sales of $632 mil­lion and prof­its of al­most $59 mil­lion a year, is two thirds owned by the Puchi and Fis­cher fam­i­lies. Its ac­tiv­i­ties are di­vided into three busi­ness seg­ments – salmon, trout and tilapia. Its food di­vi­sion also in­cludes the pro­duc­tion of fish feed. The com­pany holds marine, river and lake aqua­cul­ture con­ces­sions on the Chilean and Costa Ri­can coasts and it ex­ports prod­ucts to the Amer­i­cas, Europe and Asia. This is the sec­ond time in ten years that AquaChile has made a bid to buy Frio­sur’s salmon busi­ness. Last month, Aquachile agreed to list on the Oslo Stock Ex­change in an ef­fort to raise cap­i­tal for fu­ture ac­qui­si­tions. The fig­ure men­tioned at the time was $200 mil­lion.

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