Chilean salmon deal on the cards
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.