Benchmark Holdings granted new broodstock licenses in Norway

A Benchmark Holdings genetics facility in Iceland.

Benchmark Holdings, an aquaculture biotechnology company and one of the world’s leading salmon egg producers has received two separate salmon broodstock licenses from the Directorate of Fisheries in Norway.

The two licenses, the company said in an announcement to the Oslo Børs, allow it to produce a combined total of 780 metric tons (MT) – split between 360 MT for sea-based production and 420 MT for land production. The new licensing more than doubles the company’s current allocations, Benchmark Holdings said.

“This represents an important milestone for Benchmark enhancing our capabilities and the security of supply for our customers,” the company said in a release.

The additional broodstock capacity, the company said, enlarges the selection pool in its genetics program, reduces operational risk by spreading out the locations of its broodstock to different sites, and also allows for future expansion opportunities.

“Benchmark’s genetics operations are core to our ability to supply highly bio-secure salmon eggs to salmon producers year-round. The grant of the new licenses is a reflection of Benchmark’s leading position in the industry, track record, and quality of our operations,” Benchmark Holdings CEO Trond Williksen said. “The two new licenses enable us to further increase the security of supply of bio-secure, high-quality eggs with high-performing genetic traits for our customers supporting our mission to drive sustainability in aquaculture.”

The announcement of new licenses comes soon after the company announced that its Spring Genetics business was acquired via a management buyout, creating a new company dubbed Advanced Aquaculture Biotechnology. 

Benchmark Genetics – a subsidiary of Benchmark Holdings – purchased Spring Genetics in 2015, which later became the first company to get a tilapia genetics import license in Colombia. The two companies both said they would continue to work together following the buyout. 

“The successful management buyout is a testament to our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in aquaculture genetics,” Advanced Aquaculture Biotechnology CEO Hideyoshi Segovia said in a release. “We are excited to continue working closely with Benchmark Genetics to advance the Tilapia Selective Breeding Program, further benefitting our customers and the industry as a whole.”

The acquisition is the second major merger and acquisition activity by Benchmark Holdings in 2023. In February, the company announced it acquired the remaining 10.52 percent minority interest in its subsidiary Benchmark Genetics Iceland.  

Photo courtesy of Benchmark Holdings


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