Atlantic Sapphire co-founder Johan Andreassen with a harvest-size fish. The company is raising $50m, including $10m from Nordlaks, to achieve steady-state production in Phase 1 of its Bluehouse fish farm in the US.

Nordlaks to invest $10m in Atlantic Sapphire

Family-owned fish farmer commits to shares as part of $50m private placement


Norwegian salmon producer Nordlaks is to buy a US $10 million stake in Atlantic Sapphire, the Florida land-based fish farmer said today.

Nordlaks, which was Norway’s eigth-largest salmon producer by volume in 2021, is among several existing shareholders who have pre-committed to buying new shares in a $50 million private placement by Atlantic Sapphire.

Strawberry Equities AS has committed for the NOK equivalent of $6.5 m; Blue Future Holding AS, part of AquaGen owner EW Group, for NOK 50 m ($4.65 m); and Joh Johannson Eiendom AS, for NOK 50 m.

Atlantic Sapphire said the private placement is directed towards Norwegian and international investors.

Financial runway

Net proceeds will be used to provide Atlantic Sapphire “with sufficient financial runway, including a buffer, to achieve Phase 1 steady-state production and profitability”. Full capacity utilisation of the Phase 1 facility will be reached when annualised biomass gain and harvest volumes are estimated to ~9,500 gutted weight tonnes.

Any remaining cash buffer may be utilised by the company for Phase 2 expansion, which will take capacity to 25,000 gwt.

In an investor presentation accompanying today’s announcement, Atlantic Sapphire also revealed a collaboration with Nordlaks, which it said was one of the largest and most profitable family-owned salmon farmers.

RAS experience

It said Nordlaks had significant experience of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), having built and currently operating one of the world’s largest smolt facilities at Innhavet, Norway with strong biological performance.

“Nordlaks has performed an operational and technical review of Atlantic Sapphire’s Phase 1 operations resulting in a planned collaboration agreement and intention of increased ownership in the company,” stated Atlantic Sapphire.

“Nordlaks intends to contribute with knowledge and experience from operation, design and engineering of large-scale saltwater RAS, as well as biological experience.

“The planned collaboration agreement is intended to be completed within Q1 2023.”