* Savings of NOK 3 bln "not unrealistic"-Cermaq
* Cermaq shareholders would get 15 pcty of gains-Cermaq
* Marine Harvest conducting $1.7 bln hostile bid
By Victoria Klesty
OSLO, May 10 Norwegian fish farmer Cermaq
said on Friday its shareholders would not get a fair
share of gains from a potential takeover by Marine Harvest
which it estimated at around 3 billion crowns ($521
Marine Harvest, the world's biggest fish farmer, has made a
hostile bid of $1.7 billion for state-controlled Cermaq on the
condition that its board's proposal to acquire Peruvian fishmeal
firm Copeinca is reversed.
The Norwegian government, which owns 43.5 percent of Cermaq,
has said the 105-crown-per-share bid is too low.
Marine Harvest, controlled by shipping tycoon John
Fredriksen, on Wednesday ruled out going to 120-130 crowns per
share but said there was not much difference between its opening
bid and an increase to 111 crowns expected by analysts.
"If one assumes that the synergies amount to 3 billion
crowns, which is not unrealistic, Cermaq shareholders will,
based on Marine Harvest's proposal, receive approximately 15
percent of the gains," Cermaq said in an open letter to its
shareholders on Friday.
"This constitutes less than five crowns per Cermaq share
(400 million crowns). In comparison, the shareholders of Marine
Harvest will receive 2.6 billion crowns," it added.
Marine Harvest has not specified the scale of synergy gains
it expects from a combination of the two companies, but has said
the gains would be "considerable" and that a deal would not
result in the closing down of production facilities.
"They (Cermaq) don't specify how big these synergies would
be per year, or what multiples they've used, but I agree it is
not unrealistic," said Geir Kristiansen, an analyst at
Oslo-based Sparebank 1 Markets.
"I have made a conservative valuation, and that one is not
far off that mark," he added.
Marine Harvest has said that before it goes through with its
offer, Cermaq's shareholders have to vote to block the proposed
Copeinca transaction at Cermaq's annual general meeting on May
Marine Harvest sees the Copeinca deal, which according to
Cermaq is the second-largest holder of quotas in Peruvian
anchovy fisheries, as too risky and requiring too much in terms
of management resources and said that if Cermaq follows through
with the acquisition, it would be a deal-breaker.
Cermaq says it sees the Copeinca deal as strategically
important as it wishes to ensure a steady supply of food for its
($1 = 5.7600 Norwegian crowns)