Oslo / NO. (ok) Orkla Health has purchased 95 per cent of the shares in Vesterålen Marine Olje AS, which produces various residual raw materials from white fish for use, for example, in the production of cod liver oil. «We have had a good business relationship with Vesterålen Marine Olje for quite some time, where they have been an important supplier of raw materials for Möller’s Tran cod liver oil. We are now acquiring an ownership interest with a view to further developing the business and creating value for suppliers, customers and coastal communities in the region as well as for ourselves,» says Shaher Yar Khan, Chief Operating Officer at Orkla Health.
Vesterålen Marine Olje, which has offices and production facilities in Myre, also comprises the subsidiaries Vesterålen Marine Proteiner AS and Vesterålen Marine Ingredienser AS in addition to a 30 per cent equity interest in Vesterålen Marine Seaweed AS.
«This is a strategically important purchase for us seen in several dimensions. It supports our ambitions with regard to both health and sustainability. Moreover, we are engaging in a major part of the value chain for Möller’s Tran, which is one of our fastest growing international brands,» comments Jaan Ivar Semlitsch, President and CEO of Norway’s Orkla ASA.
Ever since the 1800s, Möller’s Tran cod liver oil has been Norwegians’ secret weapon for countering health challenges, such as a harsh climate. In recent years, more and more people outside Norway’s borders have discovered Möller’s Tran, and over half of the production volume is now exported and sold in over 30 countries. In the past three years, the Möller’s brand has grown by around 30 per cent, measured in consumer units sold.
«Even though we now have an ownership interest in Vesterålen Marine Olje, we will maintain the good collaboration with other partners that gives us the flexibility and security ensured by having several good suppliers,» says Shaher Yar Khan, who emphasises that Vesterålen Marine Olje will also maintain other customer relationships.
«We have worked closely with Orkla for many years as a supplier. Both parties have wanted to take this collaboration a step further, and in our dialogue it became apparent that the best alternative for developing the company is for Orkla to take over as main shareholder,» explains Mikal Steffensen.
He has been the main shareholder in Vesterålen Marine Olje through the company Klotind AS, and will remain involved with a 5 per cent shareholding and a seat on the Board of Directors.
The company will continue to be run with the same management and organisation, and Stian Frivåg will continue to serve as Managing Director. In 2020, Vesterålen Marine Olje and subsidiaries had a consolidated turnover of NOK 60 million. The company will be consolidated into Orkla’s financial statements as of 1 January 2022.