Reuters: Permira Bids for Cermaq’s Fish Feed Unit – sources

Private equity firm Permira has stepped in with a bid for Norwegian state-controlled Cermaq’s fish feed arm worth more than $1 billion, sources told Reuters.

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Permira has stepped in with a bid for Norwegian state-controlled Cermaq’s fish feed arm worth more than $1 billion, two sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Fish farmer Cermaq said on Monday it had received a rival indicative offer for the unit, EWOS, which oustripped a 6.2 billion crown ($1.0 billion) bid from private equity firms Bain and Altor.

“A bid from Permira is on the table,” one of the sources said, adding that Permira was being advised by Morgan Stanley and had one week to conduct due diligence.

Norwegian newspaper Finansavisen first reported earlier on Friday that Permira was the second bidder.

Permira declined to comment.

Cermaq also declined to comment on the report. It reaffirmed that it aimed for a definitive agreement for the sale of EWOS in mid-July.

The company’s shareholders voted on Thursday in favour of selling the fish feed arm.

Last month, the Norwegian state spent 1.56 billion crowns to increase its stake in Cermaq to nearly 60 percent from 43.5 percent after rejecting a $1.7-billion hostile bid by the company’s bigger local rival Marine Harvest. ($1 = 6.0926 Norwegian crowns)