1 Nov 2022

Chief executive makes sudden exit from NZ King Salmon

11:15 am on 1 November 2022
Grant Rosewarne, CEO NZ King Salmon

Grant Rosewarne has left the company after 13 years. Photo: Supplied

The chief executive of the embattled fish farmer NZ King Salmon has abruptly resigned.

The company said Grant Rosewarne had left the company after 13 years, but gave no further explanation of his departure.

Chair John Ryder said Rosewarne had led the company through its share float and NZX listing, its brand and market development, as well as the challenges of the pandemic.

"Furthermore, Grant has led a significant effort to obtain new waterspace to enable future growth and we are expecting to hear an outcome from our Blue Endeavour application at the end of November."

NZ King Salmon has been badly affected by disruption to its markets because of the pandemic and a significant rise in fish mortality because of warmer seas at its fish farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

It has been seeking consent to establish operations further out into Cook Strait to take advantage of cooler seas.

In September it posted an increased first half loss of $24.5 million because of fish mortality and disrupted markets.

It raised $60m through an issue of new shares in April after a large full year loss.

"Following the recent rights issue and the changes to our farming model, Grant leaves New Zealand King Salmon well positioned for the future," Ryder said.

He said the company has granted Rosewarne an option to sell shares at a set price and date so he could repay a loan to the company.

So far this year the company's shareprice has slumped by two-thirds, hitting a lifetime low of 19 cents in June. It last traded at 23.5 cents.

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