AKVA Marine Services delves into agreement with Abyss Group
Klepp, Norway-based aquaculture technology and service partner AKVA Group ASA has entered into an agreement to combine its Akva Marine Services AS segment with Abyss Group AS.
In a press release, AKVA said the deal is a “contribution in kind,” with the group becoming a shareholder in the combined company. The transaction is expected to complete before the end of September 2021.
As part of the agreement, funds advised by Nordic investment firm Icon Capital AS will be invested in the combined company to enable further growth. The initial investment will be NOK 100 million (USD 11.4 million, EUR 9.6 million), with further growth capital to be made available to the board of Abyss subject to certain conditions.
“We are very pleased to combine AMS with Abyss to create a leading Norwegian service company. The combination of AMS and Abyss will allow for better geographic coverage, increased fleet flexibility, and excellent career opportunities for the employees in both companies,” AKVA CEO Knut Nesse said. “Through the investment from Icon, the company will have a very healthy balance sheet and excellent basis for further growth. We look forward to work with Abyss’ existing owners and Icon to create value for all stakeholders going forward. I am confident that the combined company will be better-positioned to further develop and meet customer expectations today and in the future.”
On completion of the transaction, AKVA will own 25.5 percent in the combined company, with Nesse representing AKVA on its board.
Ocein AS, a subsidiary of Abyss, will not be a part of the combined company. Ownership of Ocein will be transferred to Abyss’ existing owners. Similarly, AKVA will still own 100 percent of Sperre AS, which is a supplier of net-cleaning systems to the aquaculture industry.
Danske Bank acted as financial advisor for AKVA Group.
AKVA has also confirmed plans to create a separate service department for land-based fish farming. It will be headed by current AKVA Director RAS Production Advisory Services Wolfgang Koppe.
“Predictability, security, and good fish health are important for success. Previously, we provided hardware and an instruction manual on how customers should put the hardware to use. We were still available to help with updates and how things could change, but with the new investment, we get much closer to the customer and can help them from day to day. They get access to our entire expertise,” Koppe said.
Photo courtesy of AKVA Group