Former Mowi chief executive Alf-Helge Aarskog will chair Bio Marine.

Seafood investor Bluefront buys fish farming oxygen specialist Bio Marine

Oslo-based seafood investor Bluefront Equity is buying a 59% stake in Bio Marine AS, a specialist in oxygen and lighting solutions for fish farming based in Surnadal, Norway.

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Former Mowi chief executive Alf-Helge Aarskog, who is both a Bluefront investor and team member, will become the new chairperson of Bio Marine.

The investment is the second made by Bluefront and complements its first investment, in ozone and oxygen specialist Redox AS. Bluefront became the majority owner of Redox in May. Bio Marine has developed its own oxygen diffusion technology and has collaborated with Redox over several years.

Martin Gausen: "This group can develop even more complete solutions."

Oxygenantion cluster

“Bluefront Equity is in the process of creating an exciting cluster of companies within environmental control and oxygenation of pens. We believe this group can develop even more complete solutions for our customers,” said Bio Marine managing director Martin Gausen in a press release.

As well as oxygen systems, Bio Marine offers a variety of other solutions for environmental control of pens, including monitoring and logging, lighting, pumps and lice skirts.

“Bio Marine are pioneers within oxygen diffusion and environmental control of pens and tanks, with an unwavering focus on fish welfare. We only invest in companies that contribute to a more sustainable seafood value chain, and Bio Marine fits perfectly with our investment mandate,” said Simen Landmark, partner at Bluefront Equity.

40% revenue growth

The investment is being made by Bluefront Equity’s first fund, Bluefront Capital I, which closed to investors six months earlier than planned after reaching its target of NOK 1 billion (£85 million).

Kjetil Haga, partner at Bluefront Equity, will join Bio Marine’s board of directors along with Aarskog.

Bio Marine expects revenue growth of 40% in 2021 compared to last year.

Growing demand

“The demand for oxygen and oxygen competence is rapidly growing, and we expect Bio Marine to play a leading role in this development,” said Haga.

“The company fits well with Bluefront Equity’s business model, where we develop the company in partnership with current owners. The funds we inject into Bio Marine will be utilised to facilitate further growth and to develop even better products and services for the company’s customers.”

The investment is a combination of a share issue and purchase of shares from existing shareholders. The parties have agreed to not disclose the financial details of the transaction.