PatoGen has been bought by Fürst Medical Laboratory. Illustrative photo: Public Domain Pictures / Pixabay.

Salmon farming diagnostics firm PatoGen taken over

Aquaculture diagnostics provider PatoGen, which services Scottish salmon farming from Oban, has been bought by Norway’s biggest human medical diagnostics company, Fürst Medical Laboratory.

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“Fürst has a long lasting and solid experience running effective laboratories and diagnostics,” said its chief executive, Håvard Selby Ebbestad, in a press release.

“Becoming owners of PatoGen, we also get exposure to preventive and diagnostic analyses in fish. This is an attractive market for us, and we are confident we can make a valuable contribution to the aquaculture companies to improve their fish health and fish welfare.” 

No accessory products

Fürst said it will reinforce and develop PatoGen in areas like quality, capacity, technology, and competence in fish health to ensure the company is the obvious choice for fish farmers.  

It stressed that PatoGen would continue to be an independent diagnostic company not offering accessory products to aquaculture companies.

PatoGen has branches in Ålesund, Oslo and Bodø in Norway, and has been working in Scotland since 2014. It established an office at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) campus at Dunstaffnage, Oban in August 2018 and last year announced plans for a laboratory there that was scheduled to be operational this summer.

The company has almost 60 employees and had a turnover of almost NOK 100 million (£8.2m) last year.

Aquaculture investor

Fürst has close to 450 employees and had total sales of NOK 815m in 2019. It is 60% owned by medical diagnostics sector company Laho AS. The remaining 40% belongs to Ferd AS, a holding company owned by one of Norway’s richest men, Johan H Andresen, and his two daughters.

Ferd owns more than 25% of UK-based aquaculture health, genetics and nutrition company Benchmark Holdings and is also the cornerstone investor in Broodstock Capital, which has stakes in several aquaculture companies including recirculating aquaculture systems specialist Billund Aquaculture and water filtering company NP Innovation.