Seafood investment fund takes majority stake in ozone specialist Redox
A seafood investment fund launched last year has become the majority owner of ozone and oxygen specialist Redox AS.
Bluefront Equity was formed by Kjetil Haga and Simen Landmark, former partners in well-known aquaculture investment fund Broodstock Capital. Bluefront has former Mowi chief executive Alf-Helge Aarskog as an industry advisor and investor.
Redox is the fund’s first investment.
‘A perfect match’
“We have monitored Redox for several years. It is a highly innovative company that develops technology that improves fish welfare and biosecurity in the aquaculture industry. It is a perfect match for our sustainability profile,” said Haga in a press release.
Bluefront Equity’s first fund primarily aims to invest in supplier companies that ensure increased traceability, better fish health and welfare, enhanced quality of the end-product, improved hygiene, and contribute towards digitising the seafood industry.
The investment is a combination of purchase of shares and a subsequent share issue. Following completion of the transactions, Bluefront Equity is the majority owner with 51.8% ownership share.
Ex-Mowi boss on board
Existing owners Sirø Invest AS, Norsk Mineral AS and Helge Bullgård continue as shareholders with 29.3%, 15% and 3.9% ownership, respectively. The parties have agreed to not disclose the agreement’s financial details.
Aarskog and another of Bluefront’s industry advisors and investors, Nova Sea-owner Aino Olaisen, become new board members of Redox together with Haga.
Redox AS was founded in 2004 and has in the past decade delivered an annual average revenue growth of 20%. In 2020, the company had revenues of approximately NOK 146 million (£12.5m) with an operating profit of NOK 16m. Redox is headed by founder Helge Bullgård, while the company’s head of business development, Sigmund Røeggen, was the largest shareholder prior to Bluefront Equity’s investment.
“Redox has traditionally worked extensively with wellboats, but we have in recent years started to apply our technologies onshore, including for land-based fish farming, fisheries, agriculture and food processing,” said Røeggen.
“Together with Bluefront Equity we will be prepared to take part in the strong aquaculture industry growth wave, both in Norway and internationally. We will invest significantly in product development and further strengthen our workforce. We will offer more cost-effective technologies and products, with fish welfare and biosecurity at the centre of everything we do.”
Redox has developed an ozone system that ensures a bacteria-free production facility. Ozone is 50% more powerful than chlorine, but both safer and more environmentally friendly compared to chlorine and other antimicrobial agents.
Ozone to oxygen
Within the aquaculture industry, Redox ozone systems are utilised to disinfect several parts of the value chain, including land-based facilities’ water intake and equipment between different batches of fish.
Following disinfection of water and equipment, the ozone is automatically converted to oxygen and thus improves oxygen content in the water. Redox has also developed a technology that supplies microbubble oxygen to further improve both water quality and fish welfare in the aquaculture industry.
Bluefront Equity intends to invest in small and medium sized suppliers that make the future seafood industry more sustainable.
The fund’s total assets are close to NOK 500m, and Bluefront expects this to increase towards the summer.
“The interest in the fund is very high. We have ongoing dialogue with additional large investors who are keen to invest in a more financially and environmentally sustainable seafood industry,” said Bluefront partner Simen Landmark.