Thor Talseth, the former head of private equity for AMERRA Capital Management, has left his post to further establish a new investment firm focused on the aquaculture value chain, according to a recent report from Agri Investor.
Uniting with Stafford Capital Partners, Talseth is fleshing out the Neptune Aquaculture PE Fund (NAPE I), which has four upcoming acquisitions in the pipeline navigating the due diligence phase. Talseth told Agri Investor that by the first half of 2020, Neptune hopes to close on at least one of those deals.
Stafford Capital Partners, which possesses more than USD 5 billion (EUR 4.4 billion) in assets under management, provided the first closing capital of USD 33.5 million (EUR 30 million) for Neptune. The boutique asset manager will provide legal, regulatory, financial, and fundraising services to the fledging firm, and its head of agriculture and food, Jos Boeren, will sit on Neptune’s board, Agri Investor confirmed.
Talseth will maintain a presence with AMERRA, even as he commits more attention to Neptune, by serving as the chairman of the board of Andromeda Group and Biomega Group – two considerable AMERRA portfolio companies involved in the aquaculture and byproduct sectors.
“As head of private equity, I covered land-based and sea-based food investments for AMERRA,” Talseth told Agri Investor. “My heart is firmly placed in the seafood camp. I wanted to focus on seafood since I’ve been around that sector for more than 20 years.”
Neptune joined AMERRA in October 2019 in investing in wellboat operator AquaShip. Along with making such strategic investments, AMERRA and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company have been embroiled in the process of merging Andromeda Seafood Group with Mediterranean seafood farming companies Nireus and Selonda SA. The merger was finalized as of 27 November after the European Commission approved Diorasis International's more than EUR 50 million (USD 55.4 million) bid to purchase a number of sea bass and sea bream farm assets from the group of suppliers. The sale of the cluster of Selonda and Nireus farm sites to Diorasis-owned Bitsakos Aquaculture and Kefalonia Fisheries was requested by the European Commission earlier in 2019 in order for it to greenlight the acquisition.