Norway Salmon Farmers Drop After U.S. Joins Antitrust Push

(Bloomberg) --

Norwegian salmon farmer including top producer Mowi ASA dropped in Oslo trading after the U.S. joined the European Union in opening antitrust investigations on suspicions of collusion.

Mowi, SalMar ASA and Grieg Seafood ASA, three of the Nordic country’s biggest producers, said in separate statements on Thursday that they had either received or would get a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and that investigations would be opened.

Mowi fell as much as 4.1%, the most in almost three months, while SalMar dropped as much 7.2% and Grieg 4.9%, also the biggest losses in months.

Norway Salmon Farmers Drop After U.S. Joins Antitrust Push

The development in the U.S. follows raids by the European Commission in February in member states against those companies’ sites. The Commission said at the time it had concerns that they had violated EU antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices. The companies were also among salmon farmers cited in a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. in April.

All three companies repeated on Thursday that they see no basis for the allegations. Leroy Seafood ASA, which said in February that a joint venture with SalMar had been inspected in Scotland, made no mention of any U.S. investigation this week.

Leroy dropped as much as 12% after posting third-quarter results that missed estimates on Friday morning.

Norway is the world’s biggest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon. The country produced 1.1 million tons of Atlantic salmon in 2018, more than half the global supply and almost twice as much as Chile, the second-biggest producer, according to Mowi.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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