June 25, 2013 / 6:41 AM / 4 years ago

Norway raises stake in Cermaq after battle with Marine Harvest

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OSLO, June 25 (Reuters) - The Norwegian state increased its stake in fish farmer Cermaq on Tuesday, just days after fending off a $1.7-billion hostile bid by Marine Harvest , the fish farmer controlled by shipping tycoon John Fredriksen.

Norway bought shares 9.46 million shares at 108 crowns per share, lifting its stake to 53.77 percent, and will buy another 5 million shares at the same price to raise its stake to just over 59 percent, it said in a statement.

The move had been expected after the country's trade and industry minister sought parliament's go-ahead to hike the state's stake to up to 65 percent.

Before the transaction, Norway was already the biggest shareholder with its 43.54-percent stake and an additional 5.38-percent stake via Folketrygdfondet, the state pension fund that invests in domestic companies. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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