SANTIAGO – This week, Chile’s top salmon company Empresas AquaChile inked a $255 million deal to acquire 100% of Salmones Magallanes and Pesquera Eden.
The acquisition, which requires regulatory approvals, would give AquaChile a salmon farming presence in the Magallanes region, at the southern tip of South America. Salmones Magallanes and Pesquera Eden has licenses to operate 26 aquaculture farms there, as well as a recirculation fish farm with ample capacity, and a processing plant in Puerto Natales.
The move boosts the company’s access to the Magallanes region, a prime area of cold water in far southern Chile considered ideal for rearing salmon.
It would also expand AquaChile’s production. In 2017, Salmones Magallanes harvested 22,900 metric tons of Atlantic salmon and has the potential to reach more than 40,000t in the medium term, according to Undercurrent News.
Add that to the 110,000t of salmon, trout and tilapia AquaChile has estimated it will produce in 2018.
AquaChile owns four processing facilities and one tilapia processing plant with a total capacity of 166,000t per year.
The firm’s total sales rose to $632.7m in 2017, up 2% y-o-y, while operating costs decreased 14% y-o-y to $462.1m.
Chile’s salmon industry is ramping up following several years of devastating algal blooms, including one in 2016 that killed 20 percent of the country’s farmed salmon and pushed up global prices.
Chile is the world’s second-biggest exporter of farmed salmon after Norway.