Merger is measure of Johnson Marine’s success
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.
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