Fiskeldi wants to bring in fresh money to fund a substantial increase in production. Photo: NTS.

Icelandic salmon farmer bids to fund huge expansion

Icelandic salmon farmer Fiskeldi Austfjarda HF, which is majority-owned by Norwegian integrated aquaculture company NTS ASA, is issuing new shares worth NOK 300 million (£24.5m) to raise funds for substantial production growth.

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As part of the fund-raising process a Norwegian holding company, Ice Fish Farm AS, has been created to own 100% of Fiskeldi shares, NTS said in an announcement to the Oslo stock exchange.

Ice Fish Farm is now involved in a private placement of new shares with total gross proceeds of approximately NOK 300m and a sale of existing shares from minority shareholders in the company of approximately NOK 89m. 

Smolt capacity

The net proceeds from this offering will primarily be used contribute to further production growth within existing licences, said NTS, which owns its stake in Fiskeldi through its subsidiary, Midt-Norsk Havbruk.

“This includes expansion of smolt capacity, new equipment and investments in biomass. In addition, parts of the net proceeds will be used to repay two outstanding convertible loans to Midt-Norsk Havbruk for a total of around NOK 59m,” NTS stated.

Fiskeldi’s largest shareholder, Midt-Norsk Havbruk, has pre-subscribed shares for up to NOK 70m in the transaction. 

In addition, two keystone investors, under given market conditions, have undertaken to subscribe and be assigned shares. DNB Kapitalforvaltning AS has committed to subscribe for shares for NOK 100m and be allocated shares for a minimum of NOK 80m and Swedbank Robur Fonder AB has undertaken to subscribe and be allocated shares for NOK 40m.

37,600 tonnes 

The bookbuilding period for the transaction started today, May 26, 2020 at 09:00 CET and ends on Thursday, May 26, 2020 at 16:30 CET. However, the period can be ended or extended at the company’s discretion and at short notice.

Fiskeldi / Ice Fish Farm harvested 4,007 tonnes head on gutted Atlantic salmon in 2019 and achieved an EBIT/Kg HOG of NOK 16.9.

It has permission to more than triple production to 20,800 tonnes per year ­- 12,000 tonnes of ordinary salmon and 8,800 tonnes of sterile salmon - distributed between two fjords, Berufjordur and Faskrudsfjordur, on the eastern coast of Iceland.

It has submitted applications for a further 16,800 tonnes (6,500 tonnes fertile and 10,300 tonnes sterile) in two additional fjords, which would give it a total allowed biomass of 37,600 tonnes.