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Wellboat pioneer invests in land based salmon farms

Mar 24, 2020

SØLVTRANS founder Roger Halsebakk has jumped on the land based salmon bandwagon, investing in Norwegian company Salmon Evolution.

Halsebakk, owner of Ronja Capital, the world’s largest wellboat business, is the biggest new investor in the project, which aims to farm 36,000 tonnes of salmon using flow-through technology.

Salmon Evolution announced today that it had raised an additional NOK 258 million (£19 million) from existing shareholders and new industrial owners.

Ronja Capital acquired a 19.6 per cent stake in the latest share issue, which saw shareholders inject NOK 107 million.

Kristofer Reiten, chair of Salmon Evolution, said: ‘The decision by the present shareholders to provide us with further capital is a vote of confidence.

‘The experience and expertise possessed by the shareholder structure over the whole salmon value chain will make a big quality contribution to our future development.’

Salmon Evolution plans to farm off Indre Harøy in Hustadvika, utilising flowthrough technology with reuse.

Ronja Capital said its faith was based on the technology chosen by Salmon Evolution in relation to growth opportunities, risk and return.

Tore Tønseth, investment vice president at Ronja Capital, said: ‘Low biological risk has been the biggest consideration for us in assessing investment opportunities in land-based aquaculture.

‘Our view of the company hasn’t changed, despite the fluctuations in the financial market over recent months.

‘We’ve followed this project over a long time, and now want to contribute to the company’s continued development.’

Odd Tore Finnøy, CEO of Salmon Evolution, said he was pleased at getting such an industrially strong ownership in place.

‘We’re very gratified that we’ve attracted a number of industrial and well-capitalised shareholders with a clear foothold along the Norwegian coast and in our industry.

‘Our success in securing this capital injection in the present financial climate is a clear confirmation of our robustness.

‘A strong network, expertise and financial room for manoeuvre will contribute to very exciting progress for us.’

DNB Markets and Pareto Securities were coordinators for the share issue.