Elvevoll smolt facility in Lyngen is one of Billund Norway's projects. Photo: Broodstock Capital.

Billund Norway and Denmark go their separate ways

Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) specialist Billund Aquaculture’s Danish and Norwegian operations have become separate companies with separate owners.

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Aquaculture investor Broodstock Capital has sold its majority holding in Billund to the company’s Danish founders, the Sørensen family, but retains a 75% stake in Billund Aquaculture Norway.

Billund Norway’s chief executive Sondre Høidalen, a former senior advisor at Broodstock, and sales director Marius Hægh each own 12.5%.

Great faith

Broodstock partner Pål Kristian Moe, who is the new chairman of Billund Norway, told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no: “We have great faith in the team at Billund Aquaculture Norway going forward, and look forward to continuing the collaboration with the talented employees as well as working further with the exciting solutions the company has.

“We have enjoyed being co-owners of Billund Aquaculture with the Sørensen family. Although we now continue separately, we will also be able to collaborate in the future if necessary. The Norwegian company is well equipped to stand on its own two feet.”

Sondre Høidalen and Marius Hægh are co-owners and managers in Billund Aquaculture Norway. Photo: Broodstock Capital.

Fat order book

Høidalen said the Norwegian operation had seen a historically high order intake for new RAS projects in recent months.

“The market has been very strong and we also expect growth for land-based farming in the future, while at the same time we see that our solutions particularly respond to the needs of the customers,” he told Kyst.no.

“We are very happy to be starting what is now an all-Norwegian company, and have several ongoing processes for new, large projects.”

Global business

Billund’s past projects have included Tasmanian salmon farmer Huon Aquaculture’s Whale Point nursery and a hatchery for Tassal, also in Tasmania.

During the first quarter of 2020, Billund landed 12 new contracts for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), an all time high for the company. Four of the contracts were in Chile, one in Peru, three in Norway, three in Asia and the Middle East, and one in Central Europe.

The split between Billund Denmark and Billund Norway, which will shortly change its name, follows Broodstock’s announcement in April that it had increased its stake in Billund from 51% to 67%, and that founder Christian Sørensen was stepping down as chairman.

Broodstock Capital is owned by Ferd AS, a holding company owned by one of Norway’s richest men, Johan H Andresen, and his two daughters. Broodstock has active ownership of seafood trading software supplier Maritech, water treatment technology maker NP Innovation, and fish health and environment consultant and certifier Åkerblå.