Eckerö, Finland-based Fifax – one of the largest land-based fish farmers in Northern Europe – has completed an initial public offering on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market, and commenced public trading on 25 October, 2021.
The company, which raises rainbow trout in a land-based farm in the Åland Islands, raised EUR 15.4 million (USD 17.9 million) and gained 1,100 new shareholders. Its subscription price was EUR 2.55 (USD 2.62) per share for the institutional and public offerings, with a discounted subscription price of EUR 2.30 (USD 2.68) per share for employees in the personnel offering. Fifax was valued at EUR 66 million (USD 76.9 million) following its listing.
“It’s great to begin this new important phase in our company’s growth journey with new shareholders. We needed the support of a wider group of investors, and the backing we received will allow us to continue our important work,” Fifax CEO Samppa Ruohtula told SeafoodSource. “We believe that the demand for sustainably produced fish will continue to increase, and we see great opportunities in land-based fish farming using our recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology both in Finland and internationally.”
Fifax was founded in 2012 in Åland, an archipelago that lies between Finland and Sweden. The company has been gradually increasing volume to achieve its ambitions to become the top land-based trout company in the world, according to Ruohtula, who took over as CEO two years ago to drive development.
Fifax’s farm and production facility has the capacity to grow and process 3,000 metric tons (MT) of fish per year at full capacity, a milestone the company expects to achieve in the first half of 2022. Fifax’s expects to reach EUR 50 million (USD 58.2 million) in annual sales once it achieves full capacity, according to Ruohtula.
Fifax imports 500,000 trout eggs every six weeks for hatching, and the fish is ongrown in large tanks that recirculate filtered and purified seawater from the Baltic Sea. Due to high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the local sea, the recirculation level is set at 99.7 percent. Trout are harvested at around 2.4 kilograms, then processed ready for sale in neighboring Sweden and in Finland, where around 80 percent of the fish consumed are imported, which creates a large market to fill, Ruohtula said.
“The new funds will help us to expand production capacity at our existing site, and also to invest in further processing capability, both to meet growing demand for our existing whole, gutted fish, and to develop new trout products,” Ruohtula said.
Fifax CFO Linda Lindroos explained that proportionate to production volumes, the company's emissions are around one percent of those experienced in traditional aquaculture methods.
“Fish farming has its own challenges, but RAS is an excellent option for the environment, as the plant produces few environmental emissions, which means that fresh, locally produced fish can be farmed in a truly sustainable way,” Lindroos said. “It is important that new and environmentally sustainable solutions are found for food production.”
Photo courtesy of Fifax