ECONOMY

Cold water poured on fish merger

Fish farmer Nireus rejected talk by Dutch equity fund Linnaeus Capital Partners to merge the Greek company with two of its peers, saying that it believes in its own autonomous growth. Amsterdam-based Linnaeus owns stakes of between 11.5 percent and 30.4 percent in three of Greece’s key players in the aquaculture sector, Nireus, Dias and Selonda. The fund said in a statement earlier this week that it believes in the sector’s long-term prospects «post-consolidation, -restructuring and -fragmentation» and described the industry as being heavily fragmented and exposed to high levels of bank debt. Nireus, however, pointed out yesterday that a triple merger may pose possible risks and should not be considered as an inevitable remedy to the sector’s challenges. «A number of conditions that are not presently met are required [for a merger], such as a detailed plan, a thorough feasibility and profitability study, support by all stakeholders and, of course, prior approval by all relevant authorities,» Nireus said. Nireus shares ended flat at 0.87 euros each on the Athens bourse yesterday, while stocks in Selonda dipped 2.70 percent to 0.72 euros. Shares in Dias jumped 4.32 percent to 1.69 euros.