Merger is mea­sure of John­son Ma­rine’s suc­cess

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SHETLAND’S largest fish car­rier and work­boat com­pany has joined forces with a Nor­we­gian coun­ter­part in a move that will even­tu­ally see the par­ent com­pany listed on the Nor­we­gian stock mar­ket.

Vidlin based John­son Ma­rine was due to merge with GripShip AS to form AquaShip AS in July, but both com­pa­nies will con­tinue to op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently with the John­son Ma­rine head of­fice re­main­ing in Vidlin, the Shetland News re­ported.

John­son Ma­rine

op­er­ates well-boats, har­vest ves­sels and work­boats for the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try, with 105 em­ploy­ees in Shetland, Scot­land, Ice­land and Spain.

AquaShip will have a to­tal of 18 ves­sels with GripShip’s three large fish car­ri­ers op­er­at­ing in Nor­way, Ire­land and Chile. Com­bined, the merged com­pa­nies’ ves­sels are val­ued at about £66 mil­lion.

John­son Ma­rine man­ag­ing direc­tor Ivor John­son will be part of the board of the new firm, along with John­son Ma­rine co-founder An­gus John­son and fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer David Leask. GripShip man­ag­ing direc­tor Sverre Tak­nes will be chief ex­ec­u­tive of the group. Also on­board will be GripShip chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Gun­nar Brek­stad.

Ivor John­son told the Shetland News: ‘Ul­ti­mately, it is two small com­pa­nies go­ing to­gether to lever­age fi­nance for go­ing for­ward.

‘The com­pany that we have gone to­gether with is a pri­vately owned com­pany of sim­i­lar size and a good fit – so it just made sense.’

John­son said the com­pany was look­ing to in­vest in new and larger ves­sels as there was still a lot of growth po­ten­tial, mainly abroad in Ice­land and Spain, but also in Chile and Nor­way.

John­son Ma­rine is cur­rently serv­ing clients such as Grieg Seafood, Ma­rine Har­vest, the Scot­tish Salmon Com­pany, Cooke Aqua­cul­ture, Loch Duart, Cul­marex, Laxar, Ice Fish and Arnarlax.

John­son added that lo­cally noth­ing would change, as John­son Ma­rine would con­tinue to op­er­ate from its head­quar­ters at Vidlin’s Ma­rine Park.

The com­pany an­nounced in the spring that it had or­dered a new 15m by 10m ser­vice ves­sel from the Nor­we­gian ship­yard Moen Marin to ser­vice the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try in Ice­land. The ves­sel is due to be de­liv­ered in spring. next year.

Above: Growth po­ten­tial

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