SalMar was founded in February 1991 following the acquisition of a licence for the production of farmed salmon and a whitefish harvesting/processing plant from a company that had gone into liquidation. These events took place during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the Norwegian aquaculture industry, which subsequently also led to the collapse of the fish farmers’ own sales organisation (Fiskeoppdretternes Salgslag AL) in November that same year. It was precisely this company’s failure, and the so-called salmon mountain, that helped lay the foundations for the secondary processing operations which are a cornerstone of the SalMar story. Up until then the vast majority of Norwegian salmon had been exported as fresh or frozen round gutted fish. This was the start of a major restructuring of the Norwegian aquaculture sector, which gradually led to a substantial increase in its level of industrialisation.
Since its inception in 1991 SalMar has developed into a vertically integrated aquaculture enterprise, whose production stretches from roe/broodfish to the sale of finished products. SalMar has gone from a single company with one licence for the production of farmed salmon in Norway, to an international concern with 100 fish farming licences in Norway and considerable shareholdings in the UK and Iceland. Today, SalMar is Norway’s third largest producers of Atlantic salmon. During the same period the number of employees has risen from 25 to around 1700. In short, SalMar has made spectacular progress since its inception, and is looking forward to an equally exciting period of development in the years to come.
The key milestones in the company’s development from 1991 to 2019:
Total volume harvested: 166,000 tonnes gutted weight.
- Increased ownership in Icelandic aquaculture company Arnarlax Ehf to 59 per cent.
- Gustav Witzøe new CEO from October 2019 following Olav-Andreas Ervik appointment as new CEO in the newly founded company SalMar Ocean which strengthens the focus on offshore fish farming.
- Started construction of InnovaNor, the new harvesting and processing plant on Senja in Northern Norway.
Total volume harvested: 159,000 tonnes gutted weight.
- Harvesting from Ocean Farm 1 – the worlds first offshore fish farm – started in September 2018.
- Olav-Andreas Ervik took over as new CEO in April 2018 after Trond Williksen’s voluntary resignation
- Increased ownership in Icelandic aquaculture company Arnarlax Ehf to 41,95 per cent.
- Aqusition of 51 per cent of the shares in Mariculture AS, which aims to develop a deepwater installation that will make it possible to establish fish farming offshore in the open ocean.
Total volume harvested: 154,000 tonnes gutted weight.
- On 5th of September 2017, Ocean Farm 1 arrived at its destination in Frohavet, off the Trøndelag coast in Central Norway
- The new smolt production facility in Senja was completed
Total volume harvested: 131,000 tonnes gutted weight.
- On 28 February 2016, SalMar was awarded the first eight aquaculture development licences for Ocean Farming AS.
- SalMar increased its indirect shareholding in the Icelandic aquaculture company Arnarlax Ehf to 34 per cent through a series of acquisitions.
- On 11 May 2016, the board announced that Trond Williksen would be taking over as CEO from Leif Inge Nordhammer. Mr. Nordhammer had himself requested leave to step down, having held the position for more than 17 years, spread over two periods.
- Mr. Williksen took up the position on 14 November 2016.
Total volume harvested: 150,000 tonnes gutted weight.
- Principle approval of the ocean farming pilot.
- Completion of acqusition that ensures an indirect stake of 22.91 % of the shares in the Icelandic farming company Arnarlax Ehf.
Total volume harvested: 154,800 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of 8 green licenses
- Yngve Myhre steps down as CEO and is replaced by Leif Inge Nordhammer on 20 January. Nordhammer previously served as SalMar’s CEO for a period of 15 years until he stepped down in 2011.
Total volume harvested: 128,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of minority shares in SalMar Rauma AS.
- Acquisition of 50.4% of the shares in Villa Organic AS.
- Divestment in P/F Bakkakfrost. New share holding approximately 14.9%.
- Divestment of remaining 14.9% of shares in P/F Bakkafrost. Following the transaction SalMar has no shares in P/F Bakkafrost.
Total volume harvested: 116,100 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of 10 licenses in Northern Norway (Finnmark) from Villa Artic AS.
- Acquisition of additional shares in P/F Bakkafrost, bringing SalMar’s total shareholding to 25.21%.
Total volume harvested: 104,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Completion of the world’s most innovative and efficient salmon harvesting and processing plant – InnovaMar.
- Acquisition of Bringsvor Laks AS with two licences in Central Norway (Møre & Romsdal).
- Acquisition of Krifo Havbruk AS with one licence in Central Norway (Trøndelag).
- Leif Inge Nordhammer steps Down as CEO and is replaced by Yngve Myhre on 6 June.
- Acquisition of Villa Miljølaks AS with four licenses in Central Norway (Møre og Romsdal).
- Acquisition of a further 1.5% of the shares in P/F Bakkafrost, bringing SalMar’s total shareholding to 24.8%.
Total volume harvested: 79,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of 75.54% of Rauma Gruppen AS. Broodfish, two hatcheries and eight fish farming licenses in Central Norway (Møre & Romsdal).
- Acquisition of 23.29% of the shares in the listed Faeroe Islands company Bakkafrost P/f.
- Acquisition of Stettefisk AS with two licences in Central Norway (Møre & Romsdal).
Total volume harvested: 77,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of the remaining 66% of the shares in Volstad Seafood AS, making SalMar sole owner of the company.
Total volume harvested: 65,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Acquisition of one licence in Central Norway (Møre & Romsdal) and one in Northern Norway (Troms).
- Senja Sjøfarm AS is renamed SalMar Nord AS. The Company now includes all SalMar’s operations in Troms.
- Acquisition of 34% of the shares in Volstad Seafood AS.
Total volume harvested: 64,000 tonnes gutted weight
- SalMar shares floated on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 8 May 2007.
- Acquisition of Halsa Fiskeoppdrett AS (two licences) and Henden Fiskeoppdrett AS (two licences) in Møre & Romsdal.
- Acquisition of Arctic Salmon AS (four licences) in Nordreisa, Troms.
Total volume harvested: 44,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Kverva Holding AS sells 42.5% of the company’s shares to a limited number of Norwegian and international investors.
- Acquisition of three new licenses in Nordmøre.
- Acquisition of the remaining 51% of the shares in Senja Sjøfarm AS, making SalMar sole owner of the company.
Total volume harvested: 35,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Divestment of operations SalMar does not consider to be core businesses, including the production of herring, herring oil and fish meal.
- Greater focus on core business activities, ie farming, harvesting and processing of salmon.
Total volume harvested: 15,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Establishment of operations outside Norway through Norskott Havbruk AS, a 50/50 joint venture with Lerøy Seafood Group.
- Norskott Havbruk AS is sole owner of Scottish Sea Farms Ltd, the UK’s second largest salmon producer.
Total volume harvested: 11,000 tonnes gutted weight
- Establishment of operations outside of Central Norway through the acquisition of 49% of the shares in Senja Sjøfarm AS in Troms. At that time Senja Sjøfarm had nine production licences and its own hatchery.
- Extension of the plant at Nordskaget in Frøya to increase processing capacity.
- Kverva Holding AS becomes sole owner of SalMar.
- Acquisition of Follasmolt AS in Verran, Nord-Trøndelag. Start of smolt production.
- Lease of Kjørsvik Settefisk’s hatchery in Aure, Møre & Romsdal.
- Acquisition of two licences for the production of farmed salmon in Central Norway.
- SalMar is founded in Frøya in Sør-Trøndelag following the acquisition of one licence for the production of farmed salmon and a harvesting/processing plant from a company that had gone into liquidation. The company’s primary business was the processing of frozen salmon. This was the start of a major restructuring of the Norwegian aquaculture sector, which gradually led to a substantial increase in its level of industrialisation.